The Public Utilities Authority - Electricity approved a new feed-in tariff for medium-sized solar photovoltaic (PV) installations on Monday.
The tariff of NIS 1.49 per kilowatt hour was about 10 agorot lower than numbers bandied about earlier this year.
Setting the tariff is a major step forward on the way to the construction of solar fields by private solar power companies. With the tariff for medium-sized installations, 50 KW to 5 MW, in place, the sun-drenched South can now be "plowed" with solar panels.
Some related regulatory issues may remain to be resolved. A feed-in tariff guarantees that the electricity generated from the panels will be bought at a specific rate for the next 20 years.
The PUA said the tariff would start to drop by 5 percent a year starting in 2012.The goal is to have 300 MW of alternative energy installed by 2014.
Most of that would be produced by PV cells, but up to 10% could be produced via other alternative energy, such as wind or solar thermal.