By methodically phasing out subsidies for polluting fuels and setting legally
binding targets for renewable energy, Israel can reduce its power demand
significantly in the coming years and help avert the effects of climate change,
according to a new Greenpeace report released for Earth Day.
“Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable Israel Energy Outlook,” the report was
written by lead author and project manager Sven Teske, director of Greenpeace
International’s renewable energy campaign.
Among the international list
of researchers and co-authors were Israelis Dr. Amit Mor and Shimon Shimon, from
the firm Eco Energy Ltd.
Globally, there is an expert consensus that a
“fundamental shift” in the way people consume and produce energy needs to occur
immediately, in order to thwart the potentially negative impacts of climate
change, the report says.
In order to accomplish this task, countries will
need to implement more renewable and decentralized electricity solutions under
the framework of what Greenpeace calls an “Energy [R]evolution,” the authors
The authors found that in 2009 renewable energy sources accounted
for 5 percent of Israel’s overall energy demand, largely from solar panels.
While covering 39% of the country’s heat energy supply – among the highest
figures in the world – renewable sources accounted for only 0.2% of electricity
generation – among the lowest figures in the world.
Israel can achieve a
true “Energy [R]evolution” by embarking upon a number of paths, first and
foremost by curbing energy demand and power demand by introducing innovative and
efficient electronic devices and using the best available technology across all
sectors, the report explains.
Likewise, heating demand can be reduced
significantly by designing buildings in such a way that they leave behind a very
low ecological footprint.
As far as electricity generation goes, a
growing renewable energy market will be able to phase out the use of coal power
plants in Israel as well as reduce the number of gas-fired plants, leading to
grid stabilization, the authors write.
A key change moving forward
according will be incentives to drive smaller cars, as well as more efficient
public transportation, the authors say. Israel also should be capable of
reducing its carbon dioxide emissions from 63 million tons in 2009 to 26 million
tons in 2050.
In order to make an Energy [R]evolution possible,
Greenpeace – along with the Global Wind Energy Council and the European
Renewable Energy Council – have recommended that Israel make several policy
changes, including phasing out subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear energy and
mandating strict efficiency standards for energy-consuming appliances.
addition, the government must establish legally binding targets for renewable
energy power and heat generation, reform the electricity markets by guaranteeing
priority access to the grid to renewable power generators and provide stable
feed-in tariffs to encourage investors, the authors write.
The Energy and
Water Ministry said it would need to study the report before commenting.