Natural gas out, solar energy in. This is the plan for the future of Israeli power plants.
According to a report in Calcalist, a document from the Israel Ministry of Energy revealed the country’s intention to make the switch. The reason is simple: money.
The changeover to solar power will see a large cut in the cost of energy for Israelis. But only after a period of increased electric bills which will be needed to cover the costs of the switch.
The State of Israel anticipates a savings of $2.4 billion per year for its economy. But it also expects that just 30% of all of its electricity will come from alternative sources in ten years from now, so there will still be a great need for natural gas.
Environmental reasons have also been cited. Israel – Startup Nation — is at the forefront of green tech development including all manner of alternative energies like solar power.
And by leaving natural gas as an energy source, there will be even more gas to sell abroad from Israel’s new Mediterranean natural gas fields.
Israel currently has two major natural gas fields within 50 miles of its coastline: Leviathan and Tamar. Israel and Lebanon just recently entered into historic talks to settle the maritime boundaries between the two nations so as to settle their disputes over the natural gas fields in the Med.
Leviathan alone is estimated to hold enough gas reserves to power Israel for the next forty years. So you can either double that time period if Israel can move to up to 50% renewable energy sources, or the country can simply earn more by exporting the gas.
Just two weeks ago US-based major oil player Chevron Corp acquired Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) and giving it a 25% stake Israel’s Tamar and a 40% stake in Israel’s Leviathan offshore gas fields. Chevron paid $4.1 billion for the acquisition which also makes it the operator of both fields.