Renewable Energies for the Future in the Arava.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
Construction of the Renewable Energies Center in the Arava, which was undertaken with the support of KKL-JNF and its Friends in Australia and the USA, as well as other partners, was completed just a few weeks ago. The facility includes research and development laboratories, a visitors’ center and an auditorium for conferences. The study day was the opening event for this lively new venue that will engage in extensive research activities and host a variety of professional and educational conferences.
The Renewable Energies Center was built in accordance with strict environmental principles: double-glazed doors let in the sunlight but keep the heat out, thus saving on electricity for lighting and air conditioning; solar panels use the sun to produce electricity that supplies most of the center’s energy needs; and solar tubes disseminate the sunlight entering the building, providing natural lighting with no need for electricity.
“Great things are happening with energy in Israel and in our region too and this is why we’ve decided to devote a study day to this topic,” explained Dr Hanan Ginat, a geologist at the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center.
The Arava is the Silicon Valley of renewable energies, declared Udi Gat, Chairman of the Hevel Eilot Regional Council, in his speech of welcome that launched the study day proceedings. “It’s important to discuss renewable energy both as an end in itself - for conserving the world - and also as a means to attract new residents to the Eilot region and boost the local economy. We call upon our children and other young people: come and live in the Arava and work in the sciences! In this building we have laboratories of different kinds with twenty researchers working in them.”
The Renewable Energies Center’s Blumenthal Auditorium, where the study day took place, was established with funds donated by the estate of Ursula and Fritz Blumenthal of Perth, Australia. Stuart Silbert, a family friend who is also the estate’s executor, sent a message of congratulations in which he expressed his pleasure at learning of the inauguration of the new auditorium and his confidence that activities at the center would contribute to the lives of the local people, to the State of Israel and to the world as a whole.
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