'Israel should be ‘test bed’ for renewable energy'
Prof. Eugene Kandel tells industry exports in Eilot Regional Council hall that renewable energy is good public policy.
Solar panels Photo: courtesy of AORA
Renewable energy innovation should be used to turn Israel into a “beta site” for
the world and help the country shed the image of being the “source of its
problems,” Prof. Eugene Kandel told industry experts at the Eilot
Regional Council hall opposite Kibbutz Yotvata on Thursday.
head of the National Economic Council of the Prime Minister’s Office, was
addressing participants at the second day of the Eilat- Eilot Forum on Renewable
Energy Policy, held to address issues in the field ahead of the annual
Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Conference in November. He was a member of
the Trajtenberg Committee on Socioeconomic Change.
In the face of
increasing populations and consumption demands, the entire world must find ways
to conserve energy and water, Kandel explained.
“We have to be way, way
more efficient in the way we use our resources than we were before,” he said.
“What’s interesting is that Israel was dealing with these challenges for a very
long time. We have very little land, very little water and until recently, very
Israel, therefore, has a lot of experience learning to
conserve and devising creative means to handle such issues – “not because we
were smart in anticipating those but just because we had to,” according to
“The same innovation we used in dealing with our problems can now
be leveraged to deal with the same problems – but elsewhere,” he
Rather trying to scale up manufacturing within Israel – which would
be impossible – the country needs to carefully focus on what types of expertise
to develop and then export its technologies, Kandel said.
in the local market is very important to be able to come and compete in the
world market,” he said.
In doing so in the renewable energy sector, the
country’s experts must finds methods that are cheapest in all respects – both
economically and environmentally, he explained. While Israel itself does not use
much energy in comparison to the rest of the world, most of the energy it is
currently consuming is quite polluting, the professor added. But the renewable
energy field can continue to act as an “engine of growth” both within Israel and
with its relations elsewhere, he continued.
“The local economy is very
efficient in using energy, but we use energy that is relatively polluting,” he
said. “That means we have additional incentives to look for better energy
resources, and this is critical to developing the energy technology. We are good
in improvising and innovating things.”