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Photovoltaic solar energy in the state of Israel - ישראל מדינת

27 February 2018

Renewable energies are not alien to the recognition that Israel has as a leading country in high technology and innovation, thanks to its academic and research community.

Constituted territorially, as is known, after the Second World War, it has a population of approximately 8,680,000 inhabitants as of May 2017 according to Jewish Virtual Library
It is a country that triples approximately the world average in terms of GDP per capita (2010), as well as three times the world average based on the per capita use of electricity (2009), according to IRENA data. RENEWABLE ENERGY COUNTRY PROFILES. Middle East. Ed. 2012. Other data of its national energy profile are:

In the following chart you can read some of the significant variations that the constitution of the Israeli electric mix undergoes in the first decade of the 21st century.
Perhaps the most striking is the increase in natural gas consumption from 0.04% in 2000 to 16% in 2009. This allowed oil to be reduced from 61% to 47%. An improvement for environmental effects since, undoubtedly, natural gas is less polluting in the production of greenhouse gases. Coal and peat remain, practically, stationary in their consumption, with a slight decrease of 3% between the two measurements. A small draft of wind (0.003% of the total) appears, of biogas (0.01%), being the Solar among the renewables the one that experiences a more significant increase, happening - in this decade, from 3% to 5% in the composition of the mix It is not specified to what extent it would correspond to the photovoltaic and to what extent to the solar thermal.
The total volume of primary energy is measured in the graph in Petajoules (Petajoules). As we understand, 1 PJ = 1015 joules. When we saw - in the previous blog article, the volume of Chinese energy, we read it in Mtoe. We invite the reader to a comparison exercise (approximate) between the volume of Chinese energy (Mtoe) and the volume of Israeli energy (PJ). We have done it.

Since the Rio conference in 1992, a series of policies have been implemented in Israel

aimed at promoting renewable energies and guaranteeing the achievement of the objectives proposed in these international meetings.

In 2015, Israel ratifies the Paris agreement, before the Marrakesh meeting in 2016. The objectives that were proposed were: to reach "10% in 2020, 13% in 2025 and 17% by 2030, renewable energy in the generation of electricity "(Gideon Friedmann).
"This included funds allocated to encourage energy efficiency projects, for which a target of 17% energy efficiency improvement was previously established" (...) Also and "in light of the continuous and rapid decrease in the cost of energy efficiency." photovoltaic systems, it is expected that more than 50% of renewable energy in Israel comes from the photovoltaic sector "(G. Friedmann).
At the end of September 2016, EBR (Energy Bussines Review) Power Generation Solar, publishes an article under the following headline: ISRAEL SEEKS BIDS TO DEVELOP 500 MW OF SOLAR CAPACITY, and where the following data is reported: "Israel plans to launch a tender for develop a solar power installation with a capacity of up to 500 MW (...) Planned to be built in the southern Negev desert (...) the ministry has selected 10 groups to bid for a tender round to build and operate another nearby photovoltaic station smaller than 40 MW, in the desert city of Ashalim. The second project is planned to be completed by the end of 2018. The two projects are expected to contribute to the country's efforts to generate 10% of its energy from renewable sources by the end of this decade. " 

In October 2016 the newspaper Jerusalem Post echoed, with the headline ISRAEL TO BOOST SOLAR ENERGY PRODUCTION, of the news: "After a freeze of two years in any new development of solar energy, the Public Services Authority said on Monday that will issue more than 1,000 megawatts of new quotas. The new power is being authorized to ensure that Israel achieves its goals of making 10% of the country's electricity supply renewable by 2020, according to the AUP "(Sharon Udasin).
Sharon Udasin also picks up some opinions of agents of the sector pronouncing themselves in the same sense: "solar energy can reach 60% of the total energy consumption of the country (...) We all hope that, after three years of decline in the solar market, let's start a new energy route that is cleaner and more economical than any alternative existing in the country. "We outline this paragraph that echoes the three-year period of detention of the solar market in the Israeli country. photovoltaics in 2016 were lower than in previous years, due to an arrest in quota allocation during 2014-2016, pending a new government policy. "

We return to Friedmann's article: At the end of 2016, the contribution of renewable energies was distributed as follows: "Approximately 905.6 MW of PV energy systems were working at the end of 2016, of which 130 MW were connected in 2016 (...) The global RE (renewable energy) capacity was approximately 970 MW, of which 22 MW are Biogas, 28 MW wind, and around 7 MW hydro. It is worth noting that 22 MW of wind power connected in 2016, are the first in the modern era. " The 130 MW installed during 2016 are also reviewed by SNAPSHOT OF GLOBAL PHOTOVOLTAIC MARKETS 2016 (IEA-PVPS), as well as the 0.91 GW estimated as accumulated.

The huge contributory difference between photovoltaics and the rest of renewable energies is evident. Friedman: "The production of electricity in general (since) renewable energies in 2016 (overwhelmingly PV) approached 2.5% -1.46 TWh".
In other words: Renewables (mostly PV with 94%) constitute, by the end of 2016, 2.5% of the total Israeli electric mix. (Although it is a bit far from reaching the proposed target -supra- of 5% for 2014).
On the other hand, it should not be forgotten that Israel was one of the first countries to develop and install solar thermal energy at home - since the 1950s, as a solar water heating system (SWH: Solar Water Heating). Consequence of this is that Israel is currently the world leader in the use of solar energy per capita.
The difference in contribution between the PV and the other renewables in recent years with respect to the Israeli country, is also reflected in the data provided by the company BP:

Other data provided by the article by Gideon Friedman regarding the energy policy carried out by the Government, since the end of 2016, are:
"The promise of a new policy finally materialized, and the Ministry of Energy assigned, by the end of 2016, a new quota of 1000 MW of photovoltaic projects for the years 2017-2018, and declared 2017 as the year RE".

"Government support is provided in the form of a guarantee (FIT) for 20 years. The FITs vary according to the nature of the project, the size, the year of installation and other parameters. (...) The FIT have decreased considerably over time (...) To reduce the costs of RE installations, Israel is now trying a new tender system for FIT in medium and large photovoltaic projects (...) The first bidding process for At least 150 MW (of the 1000 MW mentioned above) is in progress (as of 2017) ".

Continues Friedman: "2015 has seen a drastic decrease in the cost of electricity in Israel (around 15%), which remained stable during 2016. Therefore, the competition for renewable energy has become tougher (...) Gas prices have fallen slightly (...) the price of coal has increased significantly during the second half of 2016 (...) it seems quite likely that the production of electricity from gas increases to at least 70% in 3-4 years . At the same time, the Ministry of Energy made a historic decision to close an important coal plant, Hadera, with 1,600 MW, within 5-6 years (...) Therefore, it is clear that photovoltaic systems must play a role important in the supply mix of electricity production. This can certainly be done, since the costs of PV electricity are around the parity of the network, even taking into account the additional costs needed for the backup and balance. "
Finally Friedman expresses his opinion on the main benefits of the implementation of the PV, which summarizes in three:
• Energy security through diversification: Israel is highly dependent on natural gas.
• Reduction of emissions.
• Guaranteed prices over time. Israel is beginning to experiment with large-scale battery storage, as evidenced by the RFI (Request for information) published by the PUA (Israel Public Utility Authority for Electricity) for battery storage solutions in the last quarter of 2016.
At the same time, it is now clear that in order to support a high percentage of electricity production from variable ER, Smart Grid is required: Smart Grid: optimization in electricity management using computer technology to balance supply and demand, production and distribution.

To conclude we note the 2016-2020 perspectives regarding the global PV markets issued by Solar Power Europe, which include Israel in 20th place in a Global Top that values ​​the expectations of increase for 2020, estimating a growth of 1,350 MW of new capacities, which added to the capacity accumulated in 2015 of 870 MW, would mean a value of 2,220 MW by 2020.

The Negev desert and its surroundings constitute the sunniest part of Israel, which is why it has become a location for the Israeli solar industry.

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