After many decades of unproductivity, the discovery of significantly sized natural gas deposits in the Mediterranean, which is possibly big enough to meet Israel‘s energy requirements for the forthcoming many decades and the emergence of domestic renewable production of energy could indicate a fast energy transition in Israel.
In the autumn of 2015, for many weeks tens of thousands of Israeli demonstrators protested in Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities. The protest was the largest public demonstration in the country since 2011 and a unique feature of it was its topic: energy policy.
In spite of its importance to the national security and economy, energy had never been a topic of public discussion in Israel. The protesters protested the proposed plan of the government for the nation’s natural gas sector, demanded more energy security, sustainable energy and a fair dispersal of profits from this national resource.
The Supreme Court of Israel gave a judgment in favor of the protesters in February 2016, in spite of the extensive involvement of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supported the gas deal and his smart move in coming in the court in person.
Energy Transition in Israel: Natural Gas and Renewable Energy
After the 1973 oil crisis, Israel started its first important energy transition when it replaced oil with coal as the main fuel for electricity generation. The next outcome of the oil crisis was an exceptional regulation that needed installation of rooftop solar thermal water heating systems on all residential buildings.
Two significantly large natural gas deposits were found in 2009 and 2010 in the Exclusive Economic Water Zone of Israel in the Mediterranean which could lead to major gas power generation Israel supplying the country’s needs for the several coming decades. These findings are part of the regional transformation from oil to natural gas as the main energy source, simultaneously taking place in Israel’s neighbors like Cyprus and Egypt. It is because of these findings that Israel is able to attain some degree of energy independence for the first time in its history. More info regards that can be found on Delek Drilling website.
The next major development in the energy market of Israel is the introduction of renewable energy sources. Israel has been historically a world leader in renewable energy research and development but hasn’t managed to achieve domestic power production with only 2% of total electricity production in the country coming from renewable sources in 2015. But the situation is fast changing and by the year 2020, Israel is hoping to produce around 7% of its power from renewable sources and has set goals to have 17% of electricity production to come from renewable sources by the year 2030.