Israel hosted the Renewable and Alternative Energy Conference last week in Tel Aviv, and a report in the Jerusalem Times about the event makes the future of green energy in Israel look decidedly solar.
One participant told the Times that Israel was ahead of the curve on solar energy a few decades ago, and it's time they recapture that title. The potential is there; especially to dramatically reduce the cost per kilowatt using concentrated photovoltaic solar cells. Prof. David Feinman, Director of the National Solar Energy Center at Ben-Gurion University, told the conference it would be possible to create a total solar infrastructure in Israel by 2036.
Dov Raviv, who worked on the Arrow Missile System, presented a way to use this solar energy of mixing hydrogen and carbon dioxide to produce methanol, which could be used as a transportation fuel. The Israelis Ministry of Science, Culture, and Sport said it was considering classifying alternative energy development as a "preferred sector".
The preferred way for Israel to move forward is to work with global partners, especially the United States, said Dr. Allan Hoffman, senior analyst at the US Department of Energy, who gave the keynote address. U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Richard Jones, gave the Conference's opening remarks. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill this summer called the USIsrael Energy Cooperation Act, which authorizes funding eligible joint venture projects between US and Israeli businesses and researchers with grants of $20 million a year for the next six years. We'll see what the Senate does with it.