Israel plans to meet all energy needs from natural gas and renewables by 2030, Ehud Adiri, director-general in the Ministry of Energy of Israel said during a virtual meeting organized by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs late Wednesday.
Adiri said his country is planning to increase renewable capacity, particularly in solar photovoltaics.
"In 2030, we will reach 30% of renewables and 70% of natural gas. We want as many renewables as possible. In 2030, we plan 16 gigawatts (GW) of renewables, particularly solar," Adiri said.
Israel's current total installed electricity capacity from all fuel sources amounts to 16 GW, but Adiri said the country will double this through issuing new renewable tenders while also phasing out coal by 2025.
"So we will have no coal after 2025 and we will reduce 90% of our pollutants in 10 years," he said.
At the end of 2019, the share of coal power in the country's energy mix was 30% and the share of renewables was 5%.
He also discussed the country’s recent, high-potential natural gas discoveries that he said were important for regional cooperation and led to the formation of the East Med Gas forum, which has now morphed into an international organization.
The founders of the organization launched in January 2020 include Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Italy, Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration in south Cyprus.
"The forum presents many opportunities for further cooperation and sends a very important message to the international community that normalization is in place and companies can do business in Israel, in Egypt, in Jordan and other countries all together based on this cooperation," Adiri asserted.
- Investors needed for East Med pipeline
He hailed the EastMed Gas pipeline as another project for regional cooperation describing it as "a very ambitious initiative that will send gas to Europe via Greece and Italy".
He expressed his hope that Italy will soon sign the intergovernmental agreement, which Israel, Cyprus and Greece have already signed in January 2020 to allow a final investment decision to be made by the end of 2021.
He urged for investors from the oil and gas industry to come forward to finance the approx. $6.7 billion project, which some consider is both costly and unfeasible to run.
The EastMed Gas Pipeline plans to start from the Levantine basin through Cyprus, Greece and end in Italy.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya