|Solar Water Heating 521.(Photo by: M.O. Stevens)|
Groups demand increase in rooftop solar quotas
By SHARON UDASIN
Green groups argue allowing more solar roof installations would be simple way of helping bridge gaps that may occur this summer.
Eight environmental organizations appealed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
on Wednesday asking that he promote an increase in the quota for photovoltaic
rooftop panels, in light of the anticipated electricity shortages this
In their letter, which was released to the press on Thursday, the
organizations argued that allowing more solar roof installations would be a
simple and clean way of helping bridge the gaps that might occur this summer.
The eight groups were the Society for the Protection of Nature (SPNI), the
Israel Forum for Energy, the Renewable Energy Association of Israel, Adam Teva
V’Din (Israel Union for Environmental Defense), Life and Environment umbrella
group for green organizations, Greenpeace Mediterranean, Israel Green Building
Council and Green Course.
“Not taking advantage of available solar
energy, which is sustainable and green, is a scandal,” a statement from SPNI
This March, when the government made an additional quota of 35
megawatts for solar roof panels available, within minutes Internet applications
for over 100 megawatts flowed in, the letter explained. Meanwhile, at the coming
cabinet meeting on Monday, the ministers are expected to discuss a proposal for
handling the summer’s electricity shortage that does not include any solar
additions, according to the letter.
“This proposal utterly disregards the
existing and available potential of constructing solar roofs, which stands at
more than 300 megawatts and much of which can flow already by this summer,” the
organizations wrote. “The potential is not being realized due to absurdly
limited quotas, despite the fact that solar roof construction has great
We call upon you to work toward immediately approving quotas
for the installation of photovoltaic solar roof devices, at a scope of no less
than 70 megawatts – to realize immediately the available potential of solar and
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. “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
Likewise on Wednesday, Environmental Protection Minister
Gilad Erdan sent a letter to Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau asking him to
increase solar production quotas by bringing forth a proposal for government
approval. Such an effort, Erdan argued, would be instrumental in dealing with
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.