Solar Israel a practical and legislative model: Renewable Energy World - March-April 2000 p.92-99

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Joseph Nowarski, 1 במרץ 2000 - 7 עמודים
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In Israel, solar is an everyday reality for 80% of the population. Since 1980 every new building has been required by law to have a solar installation. Using solar heating for household hot water alone saves over 5% on the country's electricity consumption - a precious contribution in a country that fully relies on imported fuel and coal for its energy.

Israel's example provides a powerful demonstration of what can be achieved if governments make a commitment to solar energy.


It is a common opinion that solar energy utilization is not yet economical, that it is one of the options for the future, still at the research and development stage. In Israel, however, solar energy is not just an interesting technology for the future. It is an everyday reality, with 80% of the whole population using solar installations for water heating in their homes - saving more than 5% of the national electricity consumption.

Solar energy is one of the main subjects of the governmental budget for energy research and development, and it seems set to continue to invest in solar energy in the future.

When we look at the landscape of Israeli cities, we can see the endless number of solar installations, which is very typical for Israel. The current optimal design of the typical Israeli solar water heater combines 30 years' experience and governmental involvement. The installation of solar water heaters in Israel is required by law. Since 1980 every new building must be equipped with solar water heater. The law describes exactly the size of the installation for the various sectors, ensures the quality of the solar equipment and installations and provides the rules for installing solar water heaters in existing multi-apartment buildings.

Many countries could achieve similar success in a very short time. To promote solar energy, governments should act to overcome barriers and stimulate market forces, through research and development, large scale demonstration, information and legislation. The first step, however, is for a government's commitment to solar energy.



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