A landmark renewable energy law is making progress through the bureaucratic process of the Israeli government.
According to media reports, the Israeli Legislature’s Finance Committee recently discussed the details of a renewable energy law. The current form of the law has attracted some criticism, as it does not explicitly mention any targets for renewable energy use.
While the Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Ministry seeks to increase the share of renewable energy in the country’s electricity consumption to 10% by 2020 and 17% by 2030, the draft renewable energy law gives power to decide the renewable energy targets to the Cabinet.
At present, only 2.6% of the electricity consumed in Israel comes from renewable energy sources. The ministry reported to the Finance Committee that it has set a quote of 3 GW renewable energy capacity to be set up by private sector generators, but only 800 MW capacity is currently operational.
If the draft renewable energy law is amended to include specific, time-bound targets for renewable energy share it will remove any uncertainty and ambiguity for project developers, and attract many international investors to Israel.
The bill is expected to help Israel achieve the emissions reduction target it submitted to the United Nations earlier this year. Israel aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 26% from 2005 levels by 2030.
Over the last few months, the Israeli government has shown intent to promote renewable energy technologies. Following discussions with Greenpeace Israel, the Israeli Ministry of Finance stated that it hopes to enact net-metering regulations and policies to remove hurdles for increasing investment in the solar power sector.
Israel is also working on large-scale solar power projects. It issued licenses to 9 projects with a combined generation capacity of 385 MW. The Public Utility Authority has also issued 50 licenses for smaller projects with a total installed capacity of 116 MW.
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