Craig Lebrau
Craig Lebrau

Israel still on track to become world leader in solar energy

The Israeli government has made a modest goal to become primarily solar energy-dependent within a few decades, leading the solar frontier. Israeili authorities plan to still use natural gas power plants as a backup in the future. Originally set in 2019, this goal is currently still on track and underway.

“As Israel doesn’t have many different natural resources, we don’t have a lot of potential for hydro facilities, and the wind is also quite limited,” said Yoav Katsavoy, acting chairman at Israel’s Electricity Regulatory Authority. “To reach high targets for renewables, we have to rely on solar energy.”

Currently, Israel generates about 8% of its electricity through solar power. By 2025, they expect this rate to accelerate to 20%, and by 2030, the country expects to receive 25% of its electricity via solar radiation. 

As the only renewable energy source in the country, Israel’s Ministry of Energy plans to reduce emissions and clean the air throughout the country using solar power. 

Just recently, Israeli government delivered an order for the annexation of 45.700 Dunams of privately owned Palestinian lands, south of Jerusalem. The government plans to turn the land into a “natural reserve,” which will include a recycling factory and solar panels. 

Many other countries have also begun efforts to become solar-energy reliant, including China, the United States, Japan, and Germany. In the United States, for example, 12% of the country’s total energy consumption comes from renewable energy sources

More homeowners around the world are priming themselves for solar panels, too. Despite the costs of solar panel installation, property owners are leveraging their land in an effort to offset upfront costs. For instance, in the United States, homeowners might take a look at alternative financing solutions offered by All Reverse Mortgage, take out a home equity line of credit, or opt for a second mortgage. 

In Israel, the price for solar energy is much lower than prices found throughout Latin America and is competitive with local natural gas, making it a surprisingly affordable option for property owners throughout the country. Formal procedures with electric utility companies have been streamlined and residential solar permits are no longer necessary, making the installation process much more seamless. 

While other countries like China currently lead the solar power race, Israel authorities are looking at the long-haul. Managing an electrical system that is almost completely reliant on solar energy is complicated, particularly because its efficiency depends on the sun and weather. 

However, Gideon Friedmann, acting chief scientist at Israel’s Ministry of Energy, noted that its forward-thinking goals were based on the ability to reduce emissions and become one of the world’s leading countries in solar production out of the total output.

About the Author
Craig Lebrau is the Director of Cato Media. A former programmer, Craig is interested in Israel's startup ecosystem and aims to share his insights learnt from expanding to and managing business in Israel.
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