Renewable Roundup: 15 GW of solar energy for Israel

  • Published on June 9th, 2020

Israel lifted our spirits, by announcing plans to add 15 GW more solar this decade. Mazel tov, Eretz Yisroel! No coal after 2026! Huge amounts of solar! Now, we just have to get a new Israeli government willing to abandon gas. And let the Palestinians join in. And, well, you know.

If all the rooftops in Israel were covered with solar panels it could meet up to 50% of the country’s electricity needs, expert says. (Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90)
If all the rooftops in Israel were covered with solar panels it could meet up to 50% of the country’s electricity needs, expert says. (Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90)

By Mokurai

Israel wants another 15 GW of solar by 2030

Energy minister Yuval Steinitz has announced the country’s 2030 renewable energy target will rise to 30%, with solar expected to account for the lion’s share. Approximately $23 billion more clean energy investment is envisaged this decade.

“In the next decade, solar energy and electricity storage facilities will be set up on a scale equal to all existing electricity production in the country today,” said Steinitz in an official statement.

The minister predicted renewables would meet around 80% of power demand by 2030, with gas covering the balance and coal phased out.

Israel had around 1.19 GW of solar capacity at the end of last year, according to International Renewable Energy Agency figures. Developers installed around 120 MW of solar in Israel last year.

Solar power in Israel – Wikipedia

The use of solar energy began in Israel in the 1950s with the development by Levi Yissar of a solar water heater to address the energy shortages that plagued the new country. Israeli engineers have been at the cutting edge of solar energy technology and its solar companies work on projects around the world.

The Negev Desert and the surrounding area, including the Arava Valley, are the sunniest parts of Israel and little of this land is arable, which is why it has become the center of the Israeli solar industry.[33]  David Faiman thinks the energy needs of Israel’s future could be met by building solar energy plants in the Negev.

Some of this article relies on analysis from 2008, so things are much better than it says.

Solar Power in Israel — Jerusalem Post

Arava region of Israel about to be 100% solar powered

…during the day. Storage, anyone?

Here’s some great climate crisis news just in time for Tu Bishvat, the Jewish people’s environmental holiday: The Arava region – from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea – is about to be powered 100% during the day by the sun. Yes, that includes Eilat, all the hotels, factories, homes, businesses, kibbutzim and air conditioning – 100%! And by 2025, the sun will power all nighttime electricity needs as well.

Oh, OK.

Wikipedia says

Tu BiShvat (Hebrew: ט״ו בשבט; tú bish’vat) is also called Rosh HaShanah La’Ilanot (Hebrew: ראש השנה לאילנות), literally ‘New Year of the Trees’. In contemporary Israel, the day is celebrated as an ecological awareness day, and trees are planted in celebration.

Tu BiShvat appears in the Mishnah in Tractate Rosh Hashanah as one of the four new years in the Jewish calendar.

The first of Shevat is the “new year for trees” according to the school of Shammai; the school of Hillel, however, place this on the fifteenth of Shevat.

Oct 28, 2019 – One team is lobbying for legislation that could make the entire country 100% solarenergy-reliant by 2030, at least during daytime hours.

Really? Haven’t you heard of storage? They have in The Arava.

“Solar is around one-third the price of natural gas, but that fact is conveniently buried by politicians and the natural gas companies,” Abramowitz said. “Once Israelis learn that they are paying three, maybe four times more for their power than they should be, they will want solar.”

“The Israeli government relies on gas,” Weis explained. “It’s a political issue. In the next year, all the world’s governments, not just Israel, must set their climate goals for 2050, so this year is the most crucial to ensure change.”

So we can add crimes against nature to the list of complaints against Netanyahu.

Nov 2, 2019 – If there is one thing Israel has in abundance, it’s sunlight. This was not lost on the country’s founders, who laid the groundwork for solar energy.

But seven decades later, Israel is lagging behind other Western countries with respect to making the most out of this powerful, renewable resource.

In an effort to change this gloomy situation, the Public Utilities Authority — a government agency more commonly known as the Electricity Authority — is now calling on private homeowners to join the energy market by installing electricity-generating solar panels on their roofs.

Nothing New Under the Sun: As the world turns to solar energy, Israel falls behind – Haaretz [paywalled]

The sun may be shining, but Israel is far from reaching its goals of harnessing this powerful energy resource

Israel launches 300 MW solar-plus-storage tender – PV Magazine

Jan 24, 2020 — The government wants a 300 MW solar plant linked to large scale storage in the Negev desert. Construction is planned for late 2021 and completion in 2023.

Israel’s largest operational PV plant is the 120 MW Zeélim solar park near the village of the same name in the south of the nation.

Baby steps. But with storage, so we know somebody is listening.

6 days ago – Israel, which hopes to become energy-independent with its huge natural gas fields, is aiming to significantly boost its solar power generation

The huge Leviathan natural gas field – discovered in 2010 – together with other fields discovered offshore Israel in the past decade such as Tamar, Karish, and Tanin, is expected to help Israel become energy independent.

Under the new plan, Israel expects to have 30 percent of its electricity generated by solar power by 2030, Reuters quoted Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz as saying.

While Israel aims to have solar energy at the heart of its electricity generation strategy over the next decade, the country will look to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2026 – a target generally in line with some Western European economies such as the UK and Italy.

It is no surprise that is pushing gas. It is a bit of a surprise to see them acknowledging solar to this extent.

Ah, well, Real Money, you know.

In 10 Years, Israel Wants Nearly Half its Electricity to Be Solar

Jan 23, 2020 —  Within a decade, 43% of Israel’s electricity could be solar, according to a report released earlier this month by Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection.

By 2050, the country will be able to produce 80% of its electricity using solar panels, reducing its emissions drastically.

PIkers. It will be sooner, and it will be more than 100%, with the surplus sold elsewhere, or used for new industries like cracking water for hydrogen, as a form of energy storage and as a chemical feedstock. Carbon-free ammonia, anyone?

(Crossposted with DailyKos.)

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