Posts Tagged ‘electric buses’

Israel’s Electric Production

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Hi Everyone!

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer. Many Israelis go on vacation during the last 2-3 weeks of August before school starts. Once everyone comes back from vacation we will be in contact with the solar energy companies in Israel to get news items regarding new developments.

This week there was an interesting item in the news.
The Haifa municipality has decided to establish a large-capacity electric bus route called the Metronit which will begin operating in 2010. Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv are working on a light-rail (also electric) but those projects are very expensive and it may take several years to start the service. In my opinion, Haifa is doing something good that all municipalities should start considering. Not only does electric buses reduce pollution they also reduce our dependence on gasoline for transportation.

This brings me to another popular project that made headlines early this year - ‘Project Better Place’. An Israeli by the name of Shai Agassi has proposed and has gotten the endorsement of the Israeli government, to develop an infrastructure in Israel for the electric car. ‘Project Better Place’ of Palo Alto, California, will provide the lithium-ion batteries, which will be able to go 124 miles per charge. They, also, will provide the infrastructure necessary to keep the  cars going. The infrastucture will include parking meter-like plugs on city streets that will recharge the batteries. Renault and Nissan will provide the electric cars.

What does all of this got to do with solar energy ?

The Israel Electric Company has an installed generation capacity of about 11,323 billion watts (Dec. 2007). In 2007, the company consumed 409,000 tons of fuel oil, 13.4 million tons of coal, 883,000 tons of diesel fuel and 1.8 million tons of natural gas. IN 2007, natural gas generated about 20% of IEC’s electricity production. By the end of 2010, 40% of its electricity will be generated by natural gas. A large part of the natural gas will be supplied to Israel from Egypt. I am not sure if it is a wise move putting Israel’s energy security in the hands of one leader.

Coal is available from many places but it is a dirty fuel and Israel is trying to reduce its usage.

As I mentioned in a previous message, Israel is slowly working toward its first large solar enery power plant in the Negev. The problem is that electric consumption continues to rise and the price and availability of fossil fuels may be very problematic in just a few years. Now is the time to work agressively on developing large solar energy projects. The Israeli technology has been proven all over the world and the benefits of investing in these type of alternative energy projects will pay off in the long run. It would be nice if we do not have a real local energy crisis before taking the right steps to secure our energy resources.

Shabbat Shalom,