Solar firm EnerPoint Israel, called Friendly Energy until its purchase by
Italian-based Ener-Point in 2011, has just received permission to install two
new solar fields in Teramo, Italy, at a total of 10 megawatts and $47 million,
the company announced on Sunday.
Before joining EnerPoint, the Rosh
Ha’ayin-based company had been installing solar rooftop panels in Israel, while
its Italian parent has already installed 17 megawatts of large solar fields in
Italy and a total of 185 throughout Europe, CEO Danny Denan told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.
EnerPoint Israel currently finds it much more feasible to
be working outside Israel, in part because the government makes it so difficult
to establish solar infrastructure here.
For example, he noted a new
renewable energy policy that is supposed to include 100 additional megawatts for
solar rooftop panels and 500 megawatts for large fields that has been postponed
in cabinet meetings both this week and last.
“Although we have so much
sunshine, the government is really anti-sun,” Denan said.
“In the ’50s,
Ben-Gurion was the one who started thermal solar energy here. He pushed it
really hard,” Denan continued. “In Israel, the sun [is prominent], so it is
quite ludicrous that we would be the only country in the world that is not
promoting the solar industry.
It’s disappointing because the government
gave a promise and they’re not standing by their intentions and
One such promise he was referring to is the goal of reaching
five percent renewables by 2014 and 10% by 2020.
While so many leading
solar technology companies operating around the world are Israeli-based, “in
Israel they are cutting them down,” an action that hinders achieving the energy
self-sufficiency that the country so craves, according to Denan.
cannot understand this zigzag,” he said. “I think investors from abroad won’t
see this so favorably.” So companies like his have turned elsewhere, to places
like Italy, Germany, Spain and the US to spread their technologies for the time
being, Denan explained.
“The Italian market is the best in the world, and
the German one is next,” Denan said. “The government gives a really clear
future, exactly opposite of Israel.”
The Italian government recently
instituted a program where rooftop installations that are less than 200
kilowatts can be connected to the grid for free, and the country boasts over
100,000 employees in its solar industry, as well as having the biggest solar
field in the world at 80 megawatts, according to Denan.
company’s success in Italy, Denan hopes the Israeli government will get its act
together soon and make it easier for firms like his to establish solar
infrastructure in their home territory.
“It will affect not only the solar industry, but also many
other industries as well. The government has to show leadership,” Denan said.