(photo credit: REUTERS)
With the cooperation of 25 Knesset members across a variety of parties, MK Eitan Broshi (Zionist Union) has submitted a bill that aims to promote electricity generation from renewable-energy sources.
The bill, submitted on Sunday, calls for the establishment of national objectives in the renewable energy sector and would set appropriate timetables to realize these goals and facilitate coordination among relevant ministries.
Increased electricity generation from renewable sources would allow for the reduction of conventional power production and, thereby, mitigate environmental pollution and contribute to energy security by diversifying production, a spokesman for Broshi explained.
“There is a broad consensus among the general public and in the Knesset that the development of the renewable- energy sector has been delayed in Israel for years, and this has meant a delay of green-energy production projects that would reduce pollution from power stations, and contribute to the environment and the energy security of the electricity sector,” said Broshi, who is also the secretary-general of the Kibbutz Movement.
The Israeli government began promoting its renewable energy sector in 2008, setting a target the following year to be producing 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, Broshi’s spokesman explained. In doing so, the government also set an interim target of 5% production from renewables by 2014 – but thus far only has reached about 2%. Broshi attributes the many obstacles encountered by the industry to the lack of coordination among government ministries.
“This is a field that contributes directly to the development of the periphery and could be an engine for economic growth and new jobs,” Broshi said. “The Israeli government has not done enough to remove barriers.”
Contrary to previously established laws and regulations, the new bill calls for the establishment of binding national targets, the identification of tools to reach these goals and the creation of a time line for their implementation.
The execution of such legislation would enable the country to decrease its greenhouse- gas emissions, reduce dependency on non-renewable energy supplies and encourage initiatives for private- electricity generation from green sources, according to the bill.
MK Eyal Ben-Reuven (Zionist Union) expressed his support for the bill, stressing that the country must invest in renewable energy.
“Israel is a superpower in terms of developing renewable energy technologies but in their implementation we still lag behind,” Ben-Reuven said. “This bill is a significant step toward transforming Israel into a cleaner, more prosperous country and would increase the independence of the Israeli economy.”