Israel is a Clean-Tech Superpower

Published: February 4th 2011
in Economics » Israel

Solar Energy Field

Not only oil and gas


The Israeli energy sector has received many headlines recently. The discoveries of Tamar and Leviathan were a source of enthusiasm for many investors and politicians. For the first time in history, Israel is on the world energy map.


Indeed, for the short term, it's important that Israel will become energy independent. These discoveries will have a significant impact on the Israeli economy and on its geopolitical position in the unstable Middle-East.


Unfortunately, once the newly discovered gas is consumed and/or exported, the only long term effect is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and more dependence on fossil fuels.


Israel is a pioneer state in research and development for clean technology and, in terms of knowledge and investments, it’s a real clean-tech superpower.


Sun and wind as energy sources


The development of means to utilize the solar energy for the production of electricity started in Israel decades ago. Israeli start-ups were innovative and real pioneers in solar technology. Today, huge solar energy power plants that are based on Israeli technology operate throughout the world, especially in California and Spain. Israel knew how to export the technology but failed to implement it itself for many reasons, including political reasons.


However, recently Israel had set up a target of having 10 percent of the country's electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2020.  In order to meet its target, Israel will need to create a large domestic market for its own technologies.


Many Israeli developments are focusing on renewable and flow energy sources. We will probably see many Israeli fingerprints in many of the world's clean-tech plants in the near future.


Water solutions


One of the most impressive Israeli innovations is desalination and purifying water technology.


In today's world, fresh water is becoming an acute problem. Natural water sources are often contaminated; global warming reduces the world's precipitation, lake water levels fall and rivers get dry. As the population increases rapidly there is less for each newborn human being.


Excluding purification and desalination, new Israeli innovations have solutions for pipe leaks, pipe contamination and sewage leaks that contaminate the soil.


Domestic water solutions are essential for crowded cities in North America, Europe, India and China. Immediate implementation of "on the shelf" Israeli water solutions will save more than half of most of the world's large city water sources. According to the United Nations, Israel recycles 70 percent of its wastewater, a significantly greater percentage than any other country.  Spain, at 12 percent, is the next most efficient.  


It’s no wonder that an impressive European parliament delegation is visiting Israel this week.


European friends of Israel


The Israeli Globes magazine and the European Friends of Israel (EFI) are organizing an impressive visit this week. Nearly 500 European parliament members will visit Israeli plants and R&D centres in order to study Israel’s solutions and find ways to implement their technologies in Europe. A 400 million person market can boost the Israeli clean-tech industry rather quickly.


Israel was recently nominated for the presidency (rotating post) of Eureka, the European R&D program. Forty countries are Eureka members and Israel, due to its knowledge, creativity and innovative attitude is a very respectful member.


Increasing R&D budgets


Related articles: (Clean-tech, Israel, Solar, Water, Purification)

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