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Israel’s Solar Plans

The Israeli government have been debating as to whether or not to implement solar pv for over 2 years. Recently, the Middle Eastern state has given the go ahead for a transfer of 520 MW of quotas for solar pv.

The 520 MW will be broken up as follows: 180 MW from concentrated solar power, 60 MW from biogas technologies, 70 MW from large scale wind and 20 MW from small scale wind.

In addition, the Israeli government has also given permission for a land tender of a 30 MW solar pv park in Ashalim in the south of the country. Ashalim will also have two concentrated solar power plants which would result in the total solar capacity in the area being boosted to 270 MW.

One other area to benefit from the decision to go down the solar route is the area of Judea and Samaria in the West Bank region of the Palestinian occupied territories. This area has been granted 30 MW out of the 520 MW total allocation of solar pv.

The government in Israel has long considered diverting to solar pv quotas originally allocated to other sources of renewable energy. The most recent aspect of the decision was made in February of the this year when an inter-ministerial committee for renewable energy approved the transfer of 290 MW of renewable energy quotas to solar PV.

According to the CEO of Israel’s Wind Energy Associaton, Gadi Hareli, “this was the third time the Ministry of Energy attempted to convert part of the 2020 quota from wind to solar.

There are still issues to be straightened out. Not least of which is the tariff mechanism. The country has gone from a feed-in tariff model to land tenders. It looks likely that the scheme will go out to tender this time around.

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