Israel’s Eilot region pin its hopes on solar

January 26, 2008

Ha’aretz: The Eilot region, at the southeastern edge of Israel, is likely to become the first part of the country, along with the city of Eilat, that is not dependent on polluting energy resources. Instead of oil- or coal-fired power plants, the region’s electricity will be produced from clean, renewable sources – first and foremost, the sun.

“The sun’s rays here are among the strongest in the world and there is no shortage of land on which to build installations that can exploit solar energy,” says Eilot Regional Council chair Udi Gat. “There is already research infrastructure from the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Kibbutz Ketura and Ben Gurion University, and this [infrastructure] can be expanded.”

Gat will be attending the two-day Business and Environment conference at Kfar Maccabiah (Monday and Tuesday), and will present his plans to make the Eilot region energy self-sufficient. The Eilot Regional Council and Eilat Municipality recently began establishing a “sustainable energy administration.” The administration will focus on assisting developers and companies to use the broad expanses of the southern Arava for the research and development of solar and wind energy technologies. Some of the resulting electricity could also be sold to the Israel Electric Corporation…