Israel has taken a significant step today towards becoming a solar-leader

Press release - February 22, 2007
Greenpeace welcomes the announcement today from the Ministry of Infrastructure that the proposed solar power plant in Eshalim, originally proposed in 2001, will finally be put out to tender to private contractors.
GreenpeaceMediterranean has led the campaign for renewable energy power plants to beconstructed in the region. In 2005, the organisation submitted a report to theMinistry of Infrastructure, which proved that the construction of solar powerstations would generate a profit of NIS 810 million annually, would create5,000 new jobs, and would turn Israel into a world leader in the export ofrenewable technology to help combat climate change. The decision today is agood first step in this direction.

“Greenpeace welcomes this positive announcement by the Ministry ofInfrastructure, to finally build a first solar plant. Israel has taken asignificant step forwards today in becoming a world leader in solar power,”said Nili Grossman, Greenpeace Mediterranean Energy Campaigner. “Israel hasimmense potential to create a lucrative market in the export of renewableenergy and free itself from its dependence on oil and coal.”

Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Plants can play an important part in theMiddle East and on the Global level. The recently launched report: ‘Energy[R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook’, produced by GreenpeaceInternational and the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), is a practicalblueprint for how to cut global CO2 emissions by almost 50% by 2050, whilstproviding a secure and affordable energy supply and, critically, maintainingsteady worldwide economic development.

Notably, the plan takes into account rapid economic growth areas such as China,India and Africa, and highlights the economic advantages of the energyrevolution scenario. It concludes that renewable energies will represent thebackbone of the world’s economy. The energy blueprint for the Middle Eastconcludes, that 36% of the region’s electricity needs in the year 2050 could beproduced by solar thermal power plants, while on the global level 9% of therequired electricity would be produced by this technology.

“The decision from the Israeli Government comes as the world is crying out fora plan on how to tackle the dilemma of how to provide the power we need,without fuelling climate change,” said Sven Teske, Climate & EnergyCampaigner, Greenpeace International. “We welcome this project and urge allGovernments of the "sunbelt regions" to invest in solar thermal powerstations."

VVPR info: Sven Teske, Greenpeace International, +49 171 87 87 552 Greenpeace Mediterranean Communications Officer +972-54-6611305