The increase in Israel’s energy demand over the last two decades is hard to fathom. Between 1990 and 2007, Israel’s per capita energy usage increased 44% as compared to the EU average of 15% during the same time period. Between 1996 and 2006 there was an overall increase of 62% for electric demand, 98% of which was for the public and commercial sectors. Israel, as an “energy island,” sharing no electric grid interconnections to neighboring countries, must rely entirely on its own reserves. However, these reserves are insufficient to handle peak loads on extremely hot or cold days.
In summer 2006 Israel had blackouts on peak days. Since then, Israel’s Electricity Authority has predicted that the situation will become more serious in the summers of 2009-2010. Through December 2008, the country’s energy consumption increased 7% for the year, approximately 3-4 times more than the population growth. This was a result of increased standards of living, loose building and appliance codes, and outdated regulatory structures. In 2008, forecasts indicated that electricity demand would exceed the maximum production capacity in the coming summer (2009).
Because of the extenuating circumstance of the economic slowdown in the 4th quarter 2008, Israel avoided this crisis, however, none of the underlying factors causing the crisis have changed. With the next economic upturn, we will likely find ourselves in a more desperate situation than was predicted in 2008. For this reason, Israel still urgently needs a comprehensive sustainable energy policy; one which focuses on increased use of renewables, including an emphasis on energy efficiency and demand response.
Here's the problem...
Israel has almost no natural resources of its own and is thus entirely dependent on external energy sources. In the case of a global energy crisis, a situation where oil, gas and coal prices soar or geopolitical difficulties prevent energy purchases, Israel will find it difficult to provide its citizens with their basic and essential needs. Moving to a sustainable energy policy will decrease Israel’s dependence on external energy sources, stop environmental degradation, and help revitalize Israel’s economy while improving Israel’s long-term security.
הפורום הישראלי לאנרגיה, פינסקר 21 תל-אביב, 63421 טלפון: 03-6224777 פקס: 03-6855327
Israel Energy Forum, Pinsker 21 Tel Aviv, 63421 Israel Tel: 03-6224777 Fax: 03-6855327