Solar panels 370.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Although pleased with the recent government decision to increase the quota of
solar rooftop panels for the coming summer, environmentalists slammed the Public
Utility Authority’s Monday night decision to slash solar equity returns from 14
percent to 7%, with a new rate of 69 agorot per kilowatt-hour.
On May 13,
the cabinet approved a plan to help cope with the expected summer energy
shortages, which included bringing forward the 2014 solar rooftop quota of 30
megawatts for use now, with a requirement that new panels be installed by August
1. This amount, with each roof carrying a capacity of up to 50 kilowatts each,
is equivalent to about 600 rooftop installations, explained Eitan Parness of the
Israel Renewable Energy Association.
After the Public Utility Authority’s
plenary session on Monday evening, the body announced that the new tariff rate
for those people installing the panels would be 69 agorot per kilowatt- hour, a
price drop that Parness said includes a cutback in consumer equity yields from
14% to 7%.
Only in March, the tariff rate had been 90 agorot per
kilowatt- hour, and Parness blamed the Energy and Water Ministry for demanding
The decreased normative costs for constructing solar
systems caused the government to slash the consumer’s equity yield in half,
according to Parness. In doing so, however, the authorities are
minimizing the entrepreneur’s return on his or her investment, he
By cutting the yields, the entrepreneurs will now need about
14 years to make up for their investments, as opposed to an original seven or
eight years, Parness said.
“What they have done is to say no to the
entrepreneurship,” he told The Jerusalem Post.
“He who reduces the yield
for entrepreneurs by 50% is interested in eliminating the domain,” Parness
“The Israeli government decided to provide incentives for solar
entrepreneurs that will take part and assist in the production of electricity in
the summer. But there are those in the Public Utility Authority who are
interested in eliminating the entrepreneurship and eliminating the
In Parness’s opinion, the electricity regulation in Israel has
no parallels anywhere else in the world, and the Public Utility Authority (PUA)
unfailingly “abuses entrepreneurs,” making the public the “only loser.”
joint response from the PUA and the Energy and Water Ministry stressed that
their ability to bring forward the additional 30-megawatt allocation is another
step to prevent electricity shortage expected in the summer.
ago, we turned to the PUA requesting that it execute professional work necessary
in order to bring forward the 2013-14 quota, as long as the government would
consent to this, and on the condition that the tariff set in the arrangement
would be fair and would not impose upon the citizen public an unnecessary
burden,” Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau said.
Both the authority
and the ministry stressed that the regulation determines that non-domestic
installations only of up to 50 kilowatts, connected to grid by August 1, will
receive 69 agorot per kilowatt-hour.