Israel to boost solar energy production

The new power is being authorized to ensure that Israel achieves its goals of making 10% of the country’s electricity supply renewable by 2020.

October 10, 2016 20:06
2 minute read.
solar power

Aerial view of the 40-megawatt Ketura Solar field. (photo credit: EGE)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Following a two-year freeze on any new solar energy development, the Public Utility Authority said Monday it will issue more than 1,000 megawatts of fresh quotas.

The new power is being authorized to ensure that Israel achieves its goals of making 10% of the country’s electricity supply renewable by 2020, according to the PUA.

“[This] is great news for the energy sector in Israel and is expected to accelerate, in a short time, the volume of renewable energy produced from just 2% today to full compliance with the government’s objectives,” said PUA chairman Assaf Eilat.

In a first for Israel, the solar developers will compete for tariff rates based on their own proposals rather than signing up for predetermined feed-in tariff rate in a process that will promote transparency and efficiency while minimizing the cost of electricity to the public.

“[The new quotas] pave the way toward a future replete with clean energy,” said National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz.

The authority’s plenary published the quotas Sunday night as part of a regulatory hearing process that requires the PUA to hold at least six significant rounds of competition for low, high and extra-high voltage projects, at predetermined times.

Winners of the competitive-bidding process must realize their allotted quotas by establishing solar facilities in different areas around the country,without committing in advance to the specific sites.

Low and high voltage facilities will need to be completed within 18 months, and extra-high voltage within 36 months, according to the PUA.

Facilities may be built without obtaining conditional licenses and without determining binding milestones prior to the commercial operation of the project, but bidders will need to provide a guarantee of $20 per kilowatt in the proposal stage and $70 per kilowatt in the winning stage, accompanied by a feasibility study on network connection for extra-high voltage projects.

The competitive procedure will take place over a one-year period with the first phase expected to be in January 2017, the PUA said.

Dorit Banet, CEO of the Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Initiative, called the move a significant step toward exploiting Israel’s potential, said solar energy can reach 60% of the nation’s total energy consumption.”

“We all expect that, after three years of decline in the solar market, we will set out on a new path of energy that is cleaner and more economical than any existing alternative in the country,” Banet said.

Eitan Parness, CEO of the Green Energy Association of Israel, also praised the PUA’s decision, stressing its unprecedented scope and size.”

“We waited for years for this decision, and it is likely to generate a wave of economic development, especially in the periphery,” Parness said. “The tender process testifies to the maturity of the field, which has passed from a world of subsidies to a world of a free and competitive market.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Workers strike outside of the Teva building in Jerusalem, December 2017
December 18, 2017
Workers make explosive threats as massive Teva layoff strikes continue