Energy planning: Israel looks to reduce gas emissions by 80% by 2050

The strategic plan builds on new global trends like hydrogen and natural gas usage and the use of digital and smart grids.

Car pollution (photo credit: REUTERS)
Car pollution
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel will look to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 80% by 2050 as part of its long-term plan to reduce pollution, the Energy Ministry said Sunday.
In addition, Israel has committed to close all coal plants by 2025, which would represent the fastest pace of coal reduction in the world, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in a presentation to journalists. The ministry’s new long-term strategic plan is the first of its sort for Israel with emission reduction targets and a road map of milestones and constraints in reaching its targets.
The long-term plan also aims to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in the electricity sector by 75% to 85% by 2050, as well as improve its energy intensity index (energy consumption per unit of product) by 1.3% per year.
These targets are twice as ambitious as the commitments made by Israel at the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, something made possible by technological improvements since then, Steinitz said.
The strategic plan builds on new global trends such as hydrogen and natural-gas usage and the use of digital and smart grids, while maintaining the flexibility to adapt to frequent technological changes that happen in the energy sector, he said. In developing the plan, the Energy Ministry simulated about 2,000 possible scenarios for achieving the targets, it said.
The strategic plan takes into account Israel’s growing population density, which is among the highest in the world, with an increase in demand for electricity of about 2.8% per year. Other factors affecting Israel’s plan include the country’s large natural-gas reserves, the lack of available space to build solar-power fields, a lack of other renewable energy sources such as wind or hydroelectricity and Israel’s strength of innovation.
Among the strategic principles underlying the plan are: the need to transition to solar energy, with its massive storage needs; upgrading Israel’s electricity network with sustainable planning; transforming the way households use electricity (including replacing the use of cooking gas with the use of electricity); adoption of electric vehicles; continued investment in innovation; and adapting the natural-gas system to connect with Israel’s neighbors.
“We have set goals that are flexible, and we have not committed to using individual technologies,” Steinitz said. “We are looking ahead 30 years into the future, and we have no way of knowing how technology will advance by then. Imagine if we would have designed a technology plan 10 years ago. It would barely have taken natural gas into account.”