'Increase solar energy to achieve 2014 goal'

Report says state must allow 900 more megawatts of photovoltaic solar energy to meet its 2014 renewable energy goal.

Solar Energy Development Center at Rotem Industrial Park 311 (photo credit: Courtesy Brightstar Energy / Eli Neeman)
Solar Energy Development Center at Rotem Industrial Park 311
(photo credit: Courtesy Brightstar Energy / Eli Neeman)
The government must allow for 900 more megawatts of photovoltaic solar energy production in order to meet its goal of supplying 5 percent of the country’s electricity through renewable energy sources by 2014, the Renewable Energy Association of Israel said on Sunday.
REAI, under the leadership of Eitan Parness, published its July 2012 report on the status of Israel’s renewable energy market, ahead of a meeting of the Ministerial Committee on the Promotion, Development and Implementation of Renewable Energy meeting expected to occur on Monday. In the report, REAI provides an overall picture of the state’s renewable energy environment as well as the various barriers blocking its growth.
“It would be impossible to reach the target set for the year 2014 without regulating the production of 900 more megawatts in photovoltaic technology,” the organization said.
After four years of renewable energy activity in Israel, only 1% of the country’s electricity comes from these sources, according to the report, which REAI has sent to all relevant government ministries and authorities. The report lists structural and fundamental obstacles to the development of the field, most notably including the lack of legislative anchors to help achieve the government’s objectives, as well as a problematic lack of coordination among the regulatory bodies and various ministries.
The report also points out that there is a lack of any new energy regulations on the horizon.
In a business as usual scenario, the country’s expected electricity demand in 2014 will be 66 terawatt-hours, while in an increased energy efficiency scenario, it would be 57.9 terawatt- hours, according to the report. Respectively, 5% of these amounts would be 3.3 terawatt-hours and 2.89 terawatt- hours. Looking at currently allocated and planned amounts of renewable energy production, the country would be missing 1.4 terawatt-hours and 0.9 terawatt-hours of renewable energy in each of these cases, equivalent to 900 MW and 600 MW of installed capacity, respectively, the report explains.
“We call upon members of the ministerial committee to take action to remove barriers and make courageous and historical decisions toward the advancement of the field, in order to enable the government to stand by the decision it made to produce electricity from renewable energy at a scale of 10% of electricity needs of the country in 2020 and 5% already in 2014,” Parness said.
Only by taking these plans forward can Israel “move toward energy independence,” he added.

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