Solar Energy

Published on July 7th, 2008 | by Joshua S Hill

41

90% of Israeli Homes Solar Hot Water Equipped

July 7th, 2008 by  

392232273_aebdccd321 Last week I reported on a story that saw a new bill passed in Hawaii making it mandatory for every new home to have their hot water powered by solar panels. Signed in to law by Governor Linda Lingle, the bill will require all single-family homes built starting 2010 to have a solar panel powering the hot water system.

However Hawaii isn’t the trend setters we may have first thought them to be.

Over at MetaEfficient.com, they have an article pointing to the fact that 90% of Israeli homes already have solar water heaters. It began in the early 1950’s when the Israeli government encountered a fuel supply shortage, and restricted the times when water could be heated. In response, the people decided that they would start heating their own water using solar panels.

By 1983, 60% of the populated were using solar panels, and a law was eventually passed making what was already a common practice a law, regulating that all new houses be installed with a solar water heater.

Following in Israel’s step though, is Spain, who towards the end of 2004 saw their Industry Minister Jose Montilla, announce that starting the following year anyone who intended to build a new home would have to include solar panels in their plans.

Already Spain is the fourth largest manufacturer of solar power technology, exporting 80% of this to Germany. A country with more sunshine available than any other European country (try and work out how they figured that one), the Spanish government is committed to ensuring 12% of their primary energy is from renewable energy sources like solar by 2010.

For those wanting to see this in action, but don’t have the money to travel to Spain or Israel or even Hawaii, there are some simple tools to use from your own computer. A jump on to Google Earth will reveal a multitude of blurry out of focus shining squares on the tops of Jerusalem’s houses. And a visit to Flickr and searching for Jerusalem or Spain plus solar power, will reveal a veritable mass of photos showing solar panels atop houses.

In this way, from the smaller states and countries, let’s hope that in time, larger countries will follow.

credit: maryatexitzero at Flickr under a Creative Commons license

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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.



  • go hawaii we will follow slowly

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  • Uncle B

    The federal government should give an incentive to every solar installation possible! A large number of smaller solar installations adds up and makes our country energy rich!

  • Uncle B

    The federal government should give an incentive to every solar installation possible! A large number of smaller solar installations adds up and makes our country energy rich!

  • unuptgal

    Very nice!!

  • unuptgal

    Very nice!!

  • Leif

    Google Earth doesn’t show shiny squares on the houses of Jerusalem, nor should it. Solar hot water heaters are black so that they can absorb all of the energy from the sun. If they were shiny they would be reflecting it away.

  • Leif

    Google Earth doesn’t show shiny squares on the houses of Jerusalem, nor should it. Solar hot water heaters are black so that they can absorb all of the energy from the sun. If they were shiny they would be reflecting it away.

  • Sarah Lozanova

    Gene- The size of a solar storage tank is sized by use and time of use. In Chicago, most families of 4 have an 80 gallon tank and that is more than enough water to use when the sun is not out.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the tank can easily heat up to 180 F. Because we typically don’t use water warmer than 120 F, the water in the solar storage tank is diluted with cool water before it is piped to fixtures. That means that an 80 gallon tank can provide far more than 80 gallons, especially in a climate like Israel.

  • Gene

    If you shower before the sun comes out, this is not very useful. If you are away working during the day, nobody is home to use the free hot water. At best, you get one tank of hot water to use at night.

  • Gene

    If you shower before the sun comes out, this is not very useful. If you are away working during the day, nobody is home to use the free hot water. At best, you get one tank of hot water to use at night.

  • It would be really wonderful if solar panels could become a common reality in America’s urban sprawl too. A sustainable source of energy not only for heating and other home appliances but also for electric cars.

  • It would be really wonderful if solar panels could become a common reality in America’s urban sprawl too. A sustainable source of energy not only for heating and other home appliances but also for electric cars.

  • Lisha Sterling
  • Lisha Sterling
  • There are a few hits for Israel and solar panels, and a lot more for Spain and solar panels. Not sure why your search didn’t find anything.

  • There are a few hits for Israel and solar panels, and a lot more for Spain and solar panels. Not sure why your search didn’t find anything.

  • racerx10

    it’s 90% of israel, not spain. next time, do a little thinking before you post

    “A jump on to Google Earth will reveal a multitude of blurry out of focus shining squares on the tops of Jerusalem’s houses. “

  • racerx10

    it’s 90% of israel, not spain. next time, do a little thinking before you post

    “A jump on to Google Earth will reveal a multitude of blurry out of focus shining squares on the tops of Jerusalem’s houses. “

  • The Israeli Knesset passed a law here in the 70s requiring all new homes (except high-rises with insufficient roof space) to install Solar Water Heaters.

    This was during the energy crisis in the 70s… Perhaps this current energy crisis is the wake-up call for other countries to follow suit.

  • The Israeli Knesset passed a law here in the 70s requiring all new homes (except high-rises with insufficient roof space) to install Solar Water Heaters.

    This was during the energy crisis in the 70s… Perhaps this current energy crisis is the wake-up call for other countries to follow suit.

  • Viggo
  • Viggo
  • Jovs

    Hey Daviz,

    With all due respect, the fact that you cannot spell is the reason you could not find anything. I searched for “Jerusalem solar power” and found the following:

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Jerusalem+solar+power

    Which is exactly what the author of this article described.

  • Jovs

    Hey Daviz,

    With all due respect, the fact that you cannot spell is the reason you could not find anything. I searched for “Jerusalem solar power” and found the following:

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Jerusalem+solar+power

    Which is exactly what the author of this article described.

  • daviz

    @daviz… maybe because you searched for solar powe 😛

  • daviz

    @daviz… maybe because you searched for solar powe 😛

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  • Because nowadays fact checking means going to flickr and typing random terms? By your standards there’s irrefutable proof there are space aliens everywhere on the planet, because if I type ‘alien’ I get lots of images!

  • Because nowadays fact checking means going to flickr and typing random terms? By your standards there’s irrefutable proof there are space aliens everywhere on the planet, because if I type ‘alien’ I get lots of images!

  • Ian

    Solar water heater systems rarely involve the use of photovoltaic solar panels.

    You might want to rethink your wording.

  • Ian

    Solar water heater systems rarely involve the use of photovoltaic solar panels.

    You might want to rethink your wording.

  • person above is dumb or just cant spell

    because i just went to flickr and typed “solar panel israel” and then a seperate search “solar panel spain”…

    Very nice images… if only every country got off there ass’s and solared up!

  • person above is dumb or just c

    because i just went to flickr and typed “solar panel israel” and then a seperate search “solar panel spain”…

    Very nice images… if only every country got off there ass’s and solared up!

  • joe

    Even better, the Hebrew word for those solar hot water heaters is “dude”.

  • joe

    Even better, the Hebrew word for those solar hot water heaters is “dude”.

  • daviz

    well i just did what you said, went to flickr and searched for solar powe and spain and, guess what??

    no such items, ditto for solar heat, solar panels, so next time do a little fact checking before you post…

  • daviz

    well i just did what you said, went to flickr and searched for solar powe and spain and, guess what??

    no such items, ditto for solar heat, solar panels, so next time do a little fact checking before you post…

    • l rosan

      we have been travelling to Israel since 2005 and can attest to the fact that every roof top has either a white or black solar water heater. We also found out that the Israeli houses have the white water heaters and the Palestinian houses have the black ones.

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