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Green groups protest government energy policy

By
May 7, 2012 09:34

Protesters gather at Prime Minister's Office to demand an increased focus on solar energy to prevent anticipated electricity blackouts.

Green groups protesting for more solar energy

Green groups protesting for more solar energy 370. (photo credit:Sharon Udasin)

Green groups gathered at the Prime Minister's Office on Monday to protest against what they view as a lack of focus on solar energy, which they say should be promoted as an environment-friendly solution to anticipated electricity shortages.

"(Energy and Water Minister Uzi) Landau is polluting Israel," protesters chanted, demanding that he increase solar production quotas by bringing forth a proposal for government approval.



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"We've gotten to the point where there won't be enough electricity," said one protester from the Labor party, adding that "it is possible to produce green energy."

Eitan Parness of the Renewable Energy Association led the crowd in chanting: "black electricity - you are forbidden to choose."

Last Wednesday, eight environmental organizations appealed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asking that he promote an increase in the quota for photovoltaic rooftop panels, arguing that allowing more solar roof installations would be a simple and clean way of helping bridge the gaps that might occur this summer.

“Not taking advantage of available solar energy, which is sustainable and green, is a scandal,” a statement from Society for the Protection of Nature said.

Jon Cohen, CEO of Arava Power Company, agreed that increasing the quota would be beneficial.

“Greenlighting the immediate deployment of additional rooftop systems will supply the grid tens of megawatts of clean electricity at peak hours by this summer,” Cohen told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. “This, in combination with the hundreds of megawatts ground mounted systems will supply by next summer, and hundreds more the following summer, will have a major impact on peak hour coverage, as well as making our air healthier to breathe.”

Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan had sent a letter to Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau asking him to increase solar production quotas, which he said would be instrumental in dealing with energy shortages.

The Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on the matter, while the Energy and Water Ministry said that it received the request to incorporate solar quotas into the proposal and it will examine the matter.

Jpost.com staff contributed to this report.
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