The Israeli government is taking a harder line on energy policies, with new regulations coming down the pike.
A major overhaul of the country’s energy sector is set to begin on April 5.
But as Israel prepares to roll out its new rules, it has also been busy drafting new regulations for its Green Energy Industry.
The first phase of the plan will focus on ensuring the industry is up to the challenge of the times, with a goal of boosting output by at least 50% by 2025.
But it will also provide a roadmap for the industry to take its place in the global market, with an emphasis on renewables and a strong focus on efficiency.
“The Green Energy sector is going to have to play a bigger role in the economy,” said Israel Energy Minister Yair Lapid, whose ministry is overseeing the overhaul.
“It will have to be the key driver of Israel’s economic development.”
Israel’s green energy sector has already benefited from the policies that have followed the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.
As part of its ongoing effort to combat climate change, the country has implemented several policies aimed at reducing emissions.
The government has promised to reduce carbon emissions by at most 40% by 2020, to a goal it is still striving to achieve.
That would require a massive expansion of the existing power plants and the expansion of solar energy production, and a focus on building new solar farms, which will have a major impact on Israel’s energy supply.
A recent report by the Energy Ministry stated that while renewables are projected to account for about 40% of the nation’s energy demand by 2025, their share will only be about 25% by 2030.
The Green Energy Association of Israel (GEEI), an organization representing the energy industry, has been lobbying the government for years to include renewables in the plans, but has so far failed to win support from the government.
“The Green Growth strategy is a bold and ambitious policy and a step in the right direction,” GEEI Executive Director Yael Elkind told The Jerusalem Report.
“However, the government needs to understand that the Green Growth agenda is not going to be achieved by just adding renewables to existing power grids.
It is going for a total energy mix and a clean, green energy future that will have far-reaching consequences.”
In the process of the overhaul, the ministry is also set to launch a major review of the green energy industry’s operations, including the selection of an Energy Management Authority (EMA) that will be responsible for overseeing the new regulatory framework.
The new EMA will be tasked with overseeing the green energies sector, which has been struggling to compete with the established power plants in the country, which have already proven their ability to generate power for a long time.
The EMA, which is tasked with creating new rules for the green sector, is expected to be completed by May and will have several tasks.
The main one is to establish a mechanism for the regulation of green energy in the same way that it operates for the existing electricity sector.
“This is an important step in improving the environmental and social impact of the Green Energy Sector, which includes both natural and human activities,” Elkind said.
“Our aim is to ensure that we achieve a climate-resilient energy sector, that is an integral part of Israel.”
Elkind added that the EMA’s task will include identifying key areas in which the Green Transformation Plan should focus, such as increasing renewable generation, strengthening energy efficiency and reducing the use of fossil fuels.
“We are going to develop an EMA that will provide guidelines for all sectors of the economy and will also act as a hub for coordinating the EMEs activities, which means that the sector can move forward with new initiatives,” he said.
However, Elkind also noted that there will be a transition period of two years before the EMOs role is completely established.
The ministry is set for a major overhaul, with the focus being on making the sector more efficient, reducing emissions, and boosting energy security.
“Israel will have its Green Growth Plan in place by the end of 2020,” Elson said.
The next phase of reforms is expected take place during the coming months, with two different EME structures set to take place.
The second will be created from scratch to serve as a model for the entire sector, and will be overseen by the ministry, with one of the two structures to be an EME for all stakeholders.
The third structure will consist of two separate EME bodies, and the ESM will be charged with overseeing both.
Elson noted that the first structure would be a separate entity to be headed by the minister.
The goal of the EPM is to provide a framework to set the rules for all aspects of the sector, including its regulation and the planning and implementation of green initiatives.
“With the first EPM, we have an EMO that is ready for this stage,” Elton said.
He added that