Renewable energy guru Eitan Parness will receive the “man of the year” award for
his efforts in advancing Israel’s cleantech industry, at the annual CleanTech
Exhibition in Tel Aviv later this week.
Parness, founder and CEO of the
Renewable Energy Association of Israel (REAI), has been working steadfastly for
years to promote Israel’s renewable energy sector in the public arena, while
also meeting constantly with various regulators, a statement from the exhibition
said. Aiming to promote the young industry as well as prevent damage to
it, Parness has successfully helped to strengthen and secure its growth, with an
emphasis on solar energy, the statement added.
“We are proud to grant
this badge to Eitan Parness, who has been active in recent years in the
introduction of renewable energy in Israel and did so with diligence and
determination,” said Haim Allouche, CEO of the Mashov Group, which organizes the
“This is not a field that is easy to activate and Eitan
certainly deserves to be considered a pioneer.”
Established in 2009, REAI
now counts over 50 renewable energy firms and bodies among its members, and it
serves to lobby and promote the implementation of renewable energy in all the
relevant Israeli ministries and authorities, according to REAI.
In one of
his most recent accomplishments, Parness led a struggle against the cabinet to
allocate additional solar rooftop quotas for the summer, as the country faces a
dwindling electricity reserve and needs to rely on polluting backup sources such
as jet fuel oil and portable diesel generators. Parness’s fight, which he
conducted together with several environmental groups, caused the government to
make available now a 30-megawatt solar quota that had been slated for
“I am honored to receive this award and I accept on behalf of the
[entire] renewable energy industry in Israel, which works day and night to
transform Israel into a leading state in the field of green energy,” Parness
“The association will continue to represent everyone in the field
and deal with every challenge and obstacle that stands in the way of this
important industry, whose future will lead Israel toward energy
While excited to be given the award personally, Parness
told The Jerusalem Post that this acknowledgement was a testament to the
emergence of – and confidence in – Israel’s renewable energy field as a
“Electing someone from the renewable energy sector for cleantech
man of the year shows a strong belief that renewable energy is here to stay, and
it’s really a sign of trust of the local market in the new industry of renewable
energy,” he said.
That being said, Parness stressed that the current
state of Israeli cleantech is still “awful,” and he criticized the government
for launching international branding campaigns depicting the country as a center
of cleantech while local industries are struggling for investments and
“There’s a lot to be done in the cleantech area in
general and specifically in the Israeli renewable and pioneering technology
sector,” he said.
The 16th CleanTech Exhibition will take place on
Tuesday and Wednesday at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds.