Israel’s Future Is Solar

The population of the State of Israel is approximately 8.70 million people[1]. In 2018, 100% of the people in this country, located on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea had  access to electricity[2].

In 2018, Israel’s economy was ranked 31st in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the manufacture and export of machinery, medical equipment, computers, pharmaceuticals, plastics, chemicals, and aircraft.

In 2016, Israel signed the Paris Climate Agreement[4], committing to unconditionally reduce per capita emissions to 26% below 2005 levels by 2030. In 2018, the country enacted the National Program for Adaption to Climate Change, which was developed to reduce the adverse effects of climate change.

In 2018, the state-owned electric company, Israel Electric Company (IEC) and private sector utilities, used natural gas (64.8%), coal (26.8%), renewable energy (7.2%), and oil (1.2%) to generate electricity in the country[5]. Solar, wind, and biomass are the primary sources of renewable energy in Israel.

In October 2020, Israel’s government approved a plan to increase power from renewable energy to 20% by 2025 and 30% by 2030. The government has further approved the installation of approximately 15,000 MW of solar capacity in an effort to achieve the new renewable energy targets.

Israel has been dependent on the import of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) for power since the country formerly joined the United Nations in May 1949. Initially, coal which was imported from South Africa, Columbia, and Russia was the primary fuel for the Israel’s power plants.

In 1999, American independent oil company, Noble Energy discovered substantial natural gas reserves approximately 80 miles off the coast of Israel. Coal and oil generate 30% to 40% more greenhouse gas emissions than natural gas. As a result, Israel began replacing diesel and coal-fired plants with natural gas plants.

Israel has significant renewable energy resources, which could power  the country’s entire electrical grid. Natural gas is a cheaper fuel than coal or oil, however; solar power is even cheaper than natural gas. Solar energy is Israel’s future because of compelling environmental and economic reasons.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

[1] Israel Population (2020) –  October 29, 2020

[2] Israel – The World Bank Group

[3] Gross Domestic Product 2019 – World Bank DataBank

[4] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[5] Overview of the Israel Electricity Market – 2019, LNRG Technology

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