Solar Power to Light up The Country in 15 Years

A new project promises to produce enough solar-powered electricity to supply 50% of Israel’s energy needs within the next 15 years. The plant is expected to produce power in less than three years.

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Hana Levi Julian, | updated: 18:27

Plans are on the table build a solar energy plant in the Negev, to be located near the Jordanian border. The project, a joint venture between the government and several private companies is expected to provide jobs for thousands of people, primarily Negev residents, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Some very prominent people are spearheading the program. Amos Yaron, the former Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office, and engineer Dov Raviv, developer of the Arrow and Comet missiles, are both involved in the initiative. Raviv’s company, MST, is expected to invest some $5 million.

Vice Premier Shimon Peres has been a major player in promoting the plant, with the backing of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Jordan’s King Abdullah is also reportedly very interested in the program, which is expected to provide energy to the kingdom as well.

Raviv said that the plant should be able to provide 80% of the country’s energy consumption after 30 years, an important goal since he claims that the world’s gas and oil reserves will run out within the next 40 years.

“Israel is facing a serious problem,” he said, “and solar energy is a source that can sustain us for billions of years”.

The country suffered through several days of rolling blackouts this week that were set up by the electric company in order to meet the intense demand caused by higher than normal temperatures.