Ministry: 2015 Renewable energy goals in sight

After establishment of additional solar installations, solar sector will be able to meet about 92 percent of its interim goal for 2015.

Solar panel 390 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Solar panel 390
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Despite the many difficulties and delays along the way, the country will nearly achieve its initial 2015 target for renewable energy production, the Energy and Water Ministry announced Thursday in a proposed resolution distributed to other ministries – in preparation for the mid-November meeting of the Ministerial Committee for Promoting Renewable Energy.
Following the establishment of additional solar installations, the solar sector will be able to meet about 92 percent of its interim goal for 2015, as set out in a 2009 government decision. It called for the country’s electricity supply are to come from 5% renewables by 2014 and 10% renewables by 2020.
In order to bring Israel up to its 10% goal by 2020, the ministry has called to change the mix of renewable energy sources used, and shift quotas for electricity production from wind energy facilities to solar plants, according to the new resolution.
By doing this, the country would, in 2014 be at 75% percent of its target for that year, and in 2015, at 92%.
“The purpose of the resolution is to grant a ‘second wind’ to the production of electricity using solar energy, a field gaining momentum in recent years,” said Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau.
“While in the background, there is a great demand from the market for additional quotas in parallel with steep drops in tariffs, Israeli citizens can enjoy green cheap energy, and thus, the state will take an additional step toward meeting the renewable energy goals its has set.”
In 2012, the expected installed capacities for wind will be 6.2 megawatts; for hydroelectric, 8 megawatts; for biogas, 12 megawatts; for large solar fields, 0 megawatts; for medium-sized fields, 7 megawatts; and for small photovoltaic panels, 218 megawatts.
The aim, according to the new resolution, would bring wind to 26.2 megawatts by 2014 and remain the same in 2015; hydroelectric to 10 megawatts by 2014 and stay the same in 2015; and biogas to 30 megawatts in 2014, and 40 megawatts in 2015.
For solar, large fields would grow to 420 megawatts by 2014 and 740 megawatts by 2015; medium-sized fields would grow to 330 megawatts by 2014 and remain the same for 2015; and small photovoltaic panels would account for 330 megawatts by 2014 and stay the same for 2015.
Wind is encountering a great delay due to the fact that the Defense Ministry has not been able to approved many wind production facilities. A portion of the resolution therefore indicates that the government must push the Defense Ministry to approve more of these such plants.
Also crucial will be promoting the establishment of renewable energy production facilities in the West Bank, as well as follow-up on another implementation of a tender for the planned 250- megawatt facility at Ashalim – particularly after a pull-out from energy giant Siemens.
Equally important will be completing the construction of power facilities that will enable people to produce their own solar electricity to power their own homes by 2013, using a “Net Meter” to monitor their usage, the ministry said.
In response, Eitan Parnass, head of the Renewable Energy Association of Israel, praised Landau’s decision to “advance the field in Israel.”
“This is a historic resolution for the solar industry in Israel, and we are calling on the government and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who serves as the chair of the committee, to grant their approval,” Parnass said.