The Israeli government is betting hard on solar and energy storage to help the nation towards energy independence.
Energy minister Yuval Steinitz this week announced a new plan to deploy around 15 GW more solar capacity to help raise the 2030 target for the proportion of national electricity drawn from renewables from 17% to 30%.
“In the next decade, solar energy and electricity storage facilities will be set up on a scale equal to all existing electricity production in the country today,” said Steinitz in an official statement.
The minister predicted renewables would meet around 80% of power demand by 2030, with gas covering the balance and coal phased out.
The change, Steinitz added, will be driven by the private sector, with clean energy investment expected to reach around ILS80 billion ($23 billion).
The energy minister added, the Israeli Electricity Market Regulatory Authority is assessing grid capacity to identify the most suitable locations for PV project development as well as conducting quantitative analysis of the plan’s estimated costs and benefits.
A draft of the revised renewable energy target is open to public consultation and the government will accept feedback from stakeholders and citizens until June 18.
Steinitz had already announced a new energy and water infrastructure plan in late April, to help the country’s economy recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. That strategy included the deployment of 2 GW of solar generation capacity.
Israel had around 1.19 GW of solar capacity at the end of last year, according to International Renewable Energy Agency figures. Developers installed around 120 MW of solar in Israel last year.
The nation supports PV development through tenders for large scale projects and an incentive scheme for rooftop PV which includes net-metering and feed-in tariffs.