Israel transfers 290 MW renewables quota to PV

An Israeli government committee has approved the shift of a significant amount of renewable energy quotas to the photovoltaic sector.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the Ministerial Committee for Renewable Energy passed a resolution on Monday that paved the way for the move, including repositioning 180 MW originally allocated for two solar-thermal plants for photovoltaic use.

The committee also voted to reallocate to photovoltaics 90 MW from wind farms and an additional 20 MW from overall solar-thermal quotas.

The decision will lead to a savings of more than ILS 2 billion ($564.2 million) over the next 20 years, The Jerusalem Post reported, citing the Energy, Water and National Infrastructure Ministry.

The ministerial committee also voted to authorize the government to underwrite the financial debt for photovoltaic projects in the Judea and Samaria area of the West Bank.

Energy, Water and National Infrastructures Minister Silvan Shalom said the committee was seeking to create a market and a significant economy in the renewable energy field in order to reach the target of 10% production in 2020, according to the newspaper.

In addition to the quota shifts already approved, Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz is pushing for the transfer of a further 60 MW from the 160 MW quota for biogas to the photovoltaic sector, a move that would save the country ILS 27 million ($7.6 million), according to the ministry.

According to The Jerusalem Post, a 2011 government decision calling for 30 MW of solar projects for the West Bank region has yet to be achieved due to the refusal of banks to finance such projects out of fear that future political decisions could affect their operation. The committee therefore voted to allow the state to underwrite projects.