Only a few days after Israel saw the largest oil spill in its history, the Eilat Eilot Conference was held - an event designed to push for a wider alternative-energy use. It was a key time to show what Israel is capable of doing and demand better policies from our Government.
While it is common sense that relying on oil is a bad idea, Israel’s Government officials still haven’t fully embraced renewables. Their solution to the oil crisis is to substitute it for natural gas, another fossil fuel. Being located in an earthquake fault area -and with an unstable security situation - gas transportation pipelines are extremely vulnerable, making that an irresponsible choice (not to mention more difficult to implement and costly). On the other hand, today’s renewable energy industry is frozen due to inconsistent policy, and its share of the market is a tiny 1.5% (in comparison, many countries in Western Europe have already reached 10% or above).
While not as profitable, renewable sources are clearly the best alternative. Our small share is a shame to a country with one of the highest solar radiation rates in the world and at the forefront of green energy technologies. Solar power is cheaper, safer, easy to implement and abundant – it can surely be Israel’s future. There are no good reasons why we shouldn’t be leaders in the field, showing other nations our example ( specially in times when we need so much to change the ways in which we are perceived). We HAVE the technology, we HAVE the natural resources. All we need is serious, consistent policy. "How can this be? Are we a banana republic, or a bona fide country?" said Yosef Abramowitz in a recent interview for Globes. Our representatives should finally decide. In the meantime, the crisis of our outdated energy paradigm is spread all over our desert.