Israel, US invest $5.48m. in six cooperative clean energy projects

Funding will be allocated through Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy program.

Heliostat mirrors reflect the sky in a field at the construction site of a 240 meter (787 feet) solar-power tower in Israel's southern Negev Desert, February 8, 2016. The world's tallest solar-power tower is being built off a highway in the Negev Desert in southern Israel, its backers hoping the tec (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
Heliostat mirrors reflect the sky in a field at the construction site of a 240 meter (787 feet) solar-power tower in Israel's southern Negev Desert, February 8, 2016. The world's tallest solar-power tower is being built off a highway in the Negev Desert in southern Israel, its backers hoping the tec
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Six clean energy projects have been selected to receive $5.48 million in government funding through the joint US-Israeli Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy program.

The announcement was made following the international climate conference (COP26) by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Israel’s Energy Ministry, along with the Israel Innovation Authority.

The international goal of reversing the impact of climate change has recently accelerated the environmentally-conscious efforts of the Energy Ministry. In a recent interview, Gideon Friedmann, the ministry’s acting chief scientist, told The Jerusalem Post that they are “pushing forward renewable energy” as quickly as possible in the face of the current climate crisis. “Our new target for renewable energy is 30% by 2030 and 20% by 2025.”

A big contributor toward that mission is BIRD Energy, which launched in 2009 through the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and has funded 60 cooperative Israel-US clean energy projects for a total government investment of approximately $47.5 million matched by approximately $62 million in funds from the private sector.

“Through the long-standing and successful BIRD Energy program with our Israeli partners, we are supporting the innovation in renewable energy and energy efficiency needed to tackle the global climate emergency,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “The projects announced today will help us overcome barriers to scaling up carbon-free technology and supercharge the rapidly growing international clean energy economy.”

Energy Minister Karine Elharrar said that “the companies that were awarded this year exemplify superior research and development capabilities in the area of clean energy technologies, and their success will not only contribute to the fruitful cooperation between the United States and Israel but the entire planet.”

BIRD Foundation executive director Dr. Eitan Yudilevich said that “the BIRD Energy program brings together US and Israel companies for the joint development of innovative solutions and the accelerated adoption of cleaner energy sources, which is a global imperative.”

Over the last seven years, four BIRD Energy projects have reached the commercialization stage, including a self-powered wireless sensor for monitoring energy use in buildings, a new enzyme to produce biodiesel, a utility-scale solar concentrated photovoltaic system that employs a new active cooling module, and a new system to facilitate wind speed and power output forecasting for wind generation.

Wind turbines are seen in Golan Heights (credit: REUTERS)Wind turbines are seen in Golan Heights (credit: REUTERS)

The newly approved projects, cumulatively worth $12.7 million, are Synvertec and Rhombus Energy Solutions, which will develop an algorithm allowing 100% of renewable generation; E.V.R. Motors Ltd. and Continuous Solutions L.L.C, which will develop an Integrated Miniaturized Powertrain; Environmental Services Company and 374Water, which will develop systems for energy and resource recovery from hazardous organic waste; AGM Communication & Control and Element 16 Technologies, Inc., which will develop sulfur thermal energy storage for industrial applications; Kinetics and UAV Turbines, Inc., which will develop an ultra-portable turbogenerator system; and An Israeli Company and Imprint Energy, Inc., which will develop safe, sustainable and high-power Internet of Things smart tags for tracking packages, improving logistics processes and reducing supply chain waste.