Landau Eilat-Eilot 311.
(photo credit: .)
National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau (Israel Beiteinu) said Tuesday that
reducing energy costs and using renewable energy programs to develop the
periphery are his ministry’s top priorities.
He spoke at the opening of
the fourth annual Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Conference in
Landau outlined his ministry’s main policy goals for dealing with
the issue of renewable energy. According to him, these include: developing an
energy policy that relieves the economic burden of the consumer, “advancing the
vision of David Ben-Gurion” by pushing for greater development of renewable
energy programs in the periphery and reaching the goal of having 10 percent of
Israel's energy come from renewable sources.
Landau added that his
ministry would place keeping energy costs low for consumers at the forefront of
its priorities, and spoke at length about government initiatives that he has
advanced, allocating millions of shekels to help consumers replace older
refrigerators with newer, more efficient, models.
“The development of
solar energy gives a new horizon to the Negev, the periphery and the State of
Israel. Recently we have seen again and again the worrying rise in prosperity
gaps between the Center and the periphery in all fields; employment security,
education, quality of life and even in health. The government’s role is to
ensure that growth takes place not only in the Center, in the ‘state of Tel
Aviv,’ but that it will also reach the areas that need it more, in the periphery
and the Negev,” the minister said.
Landau also praised a new initiative,
first reported on Monday, to open four new solar energy powerplants in Israel.
The plants are planned to be built in Mitzpe Ramon, Arad, Ramat Hanegev, and
Evrona, all in the South.
The minister added that for Israel, “even in an
age of natural gas, there is great importance to developing a broad range of
Landau said that the country’s precarious position in
the Middle East means “there is no one to rely on, therefore a diversity of
energy sources is necessary, and the prudent use of all means at our disposal is
required. It is important to reach a diverse range of energy sources, without
causing harm to nature.”
The Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy International
Conference and Exhibition is Israel’s foremost annual renewable energy event.
The conference focuses on technological innovation and business opportunities in
the renewable energy sector.
On Tuesday, thousands of participants were
on hand for the event, representing dozens of businesses, startups and
governments from across the world. The foreign contingent included at least 15
journalists, invited to the conference by the Foreign Ministry.
every year, Israeli innovation was an often mentioned theme. When asked about
what the US and Israel can learn from one another in the field of renewable
energy, David Sandalow, assistant secretary of the US Department of Energy, told
The Jerusalem Post, “We’ve learned a lot from each other in the course of the
last couple of decades, and there’s a lot more we can learn. Clean energy is a
top priority of President Obama’s and we’re very interested in rapidly
accelerating the clean energy economy. Part of this is done by working at home
and part of that is working with international partners, and the dynamism of the
Israeli entrepreneurial sector is an important asset of the world in the field
of clean energy.”
Dr. Dan Arvizu, director and CEO of the National
Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado, told the crowd that “you have
outstanding universities here, one of the things I’m most proud of is that some
of our top scientists in our country are very much focused on collaborative
research... at the Technion Institute, the Weizmann Institute and Ben- Gurion
University. I think part of what is compelling to us in this partnership will be
the engine for new companies and technologies that will be stationed in this
part of the world.”