Blaming the country’s summer electricity shortages on a generally “failed energy policy,” members of the Green Movement called for the resignation of Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau on Sunday.

“The electricity crisis was predictable. Minister Landau must take responsibility and resign,” a statement from the movement said.

Due to an ongoing heat wave this week, the Israel Electric Corporation has asked that customers refrain from using heavy duty appliances during peak afternoon hours, in order to alleviate stress on a dwindling reserve and thereby prevent forced blackouts.

While “talking high” about solar energy, whose development could have helped solve the crisis, the ministry in practice has actually increased the country’s dependency on fossil fuels, the statement charged.

For years, the Green Movement has been calling for solar energy as a solution for coping with summer shortages, according to Prof. Alon Tal, chairman of the political movement.

“In Germany, which has a little less sun than us, there are summer days when 40 percent of the electricity comes from solar facilities,” Tal said.

“That’s because they have a long-term policy. Israel’s government, which a decade ago promised 2% renewables by 2007, continues to offer lip service.”

Increased amounts of solar energy facilities, Tal continued, could create thousands of jobs and provide one solution “to the festering conflicts over land with the Beduin in the Negev.”

Instead of accomplishing this and helping Israel move forward with reducing greenhouse gas emissions, however, the country continues to “crawl forward,” according to Tal.

While he acknowledged the fact that the Energy and Water Ministry had launched positive energy conservation programs recently, Tal slammed these efforts as “too little, too late.”

“During this very hot week, the public is paying the price,” he said.

In response to a query from The Jerusalem Post, Energy and Water Ministry staff members said the office had no reaction to the Green Movement’s allegations.

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