Israel’s Move To Renewable Energy

National Economy

The population of the State of Israel is approximately 8.74 million people[1]. In 2019, 100% of the people in this Middle Eastern country had  access to electricity[2].

Israel has been dependent on imported coal and oil for fuel since the country was established in May 1948. However, massive natural gas reserves were discovered in 1999, approximately 80 miles off the coast of Israel.

In 2019, Israel’s economy was ranked 31st in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of diamonds, citrus, natural gas, cement, pharmaceuticals, medical instruments, aircraft, and machinery.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Israel signed the Paris Climate Agreement[4], committing to unconditionally reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions 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 2019, Israel’s electric utilities used natural gas (64.8%), coal (26.8%), and renewable energy (8.4%)  to generate electricity in the country[5]. Solar, wind, biomass, and hydropower are the primary sources of renewable energy in Israel.

In 2020, Israel’s government approved a plan to increase power from renewable energy to 20% by 2025 and 30% by 2030.

Recent renewable energy developments in Israel includes the following:

  • 9 MW Solar + Energy Storage Projects – In January 2021, Israel’s Electricity Market Regulatory Authority awarded 33 utility scale solar plus solar projects to seven companies. All projects will be commissioned before year-end 2023.
  • 189 MW Wind Project – Israeli company, Enlight Renewable Energy is continuing work on a wind farm, which is located in northern Israel. The project is scheduled to be commissioned before June 30, 2021.
  • Wind Project Approval – In January 2021, the Israeli government approved the development of future utility scale wind projects in the Golan Heights area of northern Israel.

Conclusions

Israel’s move to renewable energy is driven by climate change concerns and economics. Israel has significant renewable energy resources, which could power the entire country. Wind and solar are a cheaper form of power than any fossil fuel (coal, oil, or natural gas).

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

[1] Israel Population (2021) –  February 8, 2021 www.worldometers.info

[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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