Israel Solar Power Advances in the Arava Region and the City of Eilat

  • Germany is the leader in consumption of solar energy in the world.
  • Israel is aiming to reach 100% solar in the Negev area and Eilat.
  • In Israel each apartment has its own solar energy unit.

Israel well known for its advances in high tech has now expanded its goal of reaching complete reliance on solar energy in daytime hours for the Arava region of southern Israel which includes the city Eilat. The team behind this achievement is now lobbying for legislation that would make the whole country 100% solar energy reliant in daytime hours by the year 2030.

Solar energy produced at Kibbutz Yatvata.

The Arava region of southern Israel will reach its goal of 100% solar energy reliant during the daytime hours by next year placing this area ahead of the rest of the country. At present fossil fuels provide 95% of Israel’s electricity.  The Arava achievement is of a partnership between Yosef Abramovitz CEO of Energiya global, and Dorit Banet of Eilat – Eilot Renewable Energy.

Abromovitz is a pioneer of the solar energy industry in Israel, and his firm uses the Arava model to build solar and wind installations in Africa. Eilat – Eilot is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable energy as a tool for economic growth in southern Israel. There was at first a lot of pessimism about Arava reaching its goal of 100% solar energy during daytime hours by 2020 for many good reasons such as cost, space, grid stability along with regularity, statutory, and political feasibility. His answer to his opponents is “We have answered every concern that not just a region will have solar energy but the whole country.”

At a cost of $0.06 per kilowatt, the cost of solar energy is now less than the cost of natural gas. The price of solar is around one third of natural gas which are facts that are being buried by companies producing energy through natural gas. When Israelis learn that they are paying as much as three times for their energy, they will wake up to support solar energy for their needs. More technology is being developed to lower the cost of storage of solar energy necessary to keep consistent power during times when the weather is uncooperative and for use at night.

A map of the Negev and the city of Eilat.

A major concern for solar energy is the land that is required for large installations. Zoning laws even in the south make it difficult to install the necessary equipment. Also in the south there are vast tracts of land used for nature preserves and military bases. They are working with Kibbutzim in the area, municipalities and private companies to lease areas needed to power the region. It will be done by using rooftops on houses, commercial centers and military installations as well as other places.

Israel’s current goal of 17% solar energy use during the day is based on calculations for Germany, the world’s leader in solar power consumption. Solar energy is not always constant, as it can be interrupted if the sun is not out. Eventually when is power lines will be needed to bring energy from the sunshine areas of the south to north Israel where there is less sunshine.

In Israel each apartment has its own solar energy unit. During the summertime it is not necessary to light the boiler, there is enough hot water in the dudes planted on the roof of each building for 24 hour use. In winter time it is necessary to supplement private solar energy with heating up hot water with electricity.

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David Wexelman

Author of 5 books on the internet on topics of Jewish mysticism, managing two websites. www.progressivejewishspirituality.net
http://www.worldunitypeace.org

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