REW has a report on Israel's plans to build a solar thermal power plant in the Negev desert - Israel to Set Up Feed-in Tariff, European Bank to Invest €100M in Israeli CSP Plant.
Israel's Minister of National Infrastructure (MNI) has authorized the ministry's new policy that will set up a feed-in tariff for residential and industrial solar photovoltaic installations of up to 50 kilowatts (kW) in size. This is part of a policy memorandum that will integrate Renewable energy into Israel's energy production.
A feed-in-tariff will be set by the Israeli Public Utilities Authority, and energy companies are holding hands, hoping the process will be quick. It has been published in the past that the tariff prior to hearings will be 1.61 NIS (€0.31).
According to the authorized quotas, in the periphery of Israel (including the Arava and Negev regions) industrial installations up to 50 kW, installations of residential arrays (up to 4 kW) will be uncapped until December 2014.
A special 30-megawatt (MW) quota has been reserves for public buildings roofs, with an emphasis on educational institutions. Industrial installations (15-50 kW) that are not to be installed in the periphery or on public buildings roofs are capped to 50 MW.
At the Eilat-Eilot International Renewable Energy Conference being held in Israel this week, Dr. Uzi Landau, Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructures, announced that the European Investment Bank will double its initial €50 Million investment in the Ashalim Renewable Energy Power Plant to €100 Million.
The Ashalim plant is slated to be built in Israel’s Western Negev desert over the next few years and will consist of 2 solar thermal power stations, each with a capacity of about 120 MW, with a maximum installed capacity of about 250 MW. The estimated cost of the project is US $750 million.
The project will also include a photovoltaic power plant with an approximate installed capacity of 15 MW with a provision to expand it by a further 15 MW to bring it up to a possible 30 MW PV power plant.
The Ashalim project will go to tender at the end of April 2010 and will be up and running by the end of 2014.
Calfinder reports that Israel's neighbours are also looking to build more clean energy capacity - Arab Nations Want a Piece of the Green Energy Pie, Too.
A wonderfully detailed article published recently by Emirates Business 24/7 outlines renewable energy developments in the Arab world. Among them are a variety of incentive and investment plans, many of which are unprecedented even at the global level. Here are some highlights:
* United Arab Emirates (UAE). Abu Dhabi, largest of the seven member states in the UAE, has unfolded one of the most aggressive clean energy programs in the world. More than $30 billion will be invested to build Masdar City, a 100% renewable-powered (primarily solar), sustainable, zero-waste city just southeast of the main city of Abu Dhabi. Masdar City will be planned and built by state-owned Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, whose first 10-megawatt solar PV plant went online last spring and is just the first of many solar projects in development.
* Saudi Arabia. The world’s leading oil exporter is looking to diversify its energy portfolio with some preliminary investments in solar power. Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world (and state-owned), partnered with a Japanese firm last year to build a pilot 10-MW solar power plant set to turn on next year. A 20-MW plant is set for construction at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
* Egypt is planning to develop enough renewable power to provide 20 percent of its total power generation by 2020.
* Morocco announced a $9 billion program to install 2 gigawatts of renewable power by 2020, equaling 14 percent of the North African country’s energy capacity.
* Tunisia will soon put into action the Tunisian Solar Plan, which will see 40 solar projects built by 2016 through public and private investments. The plan calls for more than $2 billion in funding for the projects, which, once finished, will account for 22 percent of Tunisia’s total energy consumption.
* The Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP) was launched in 2008 by member states in the Union for the Mediterranean. The plan aggressively incentivizes solar power projects with the goal of installing a whopping 20 GW of solar power by 2020, some of which will be consumed domestically and the rest exported to Europe by way of undersea cables. Member states estimated a total capital investment between 38 and 36 billion euros.
* The World Bank is also getting in on the action among Middle East and North Africa (MENA) states. The Bank recently announced plans to back $5.5 billion worth of solar projects in Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan. 11 projects are subject to funding under the plan, which would add approximately 1 gigawatt of solar power to global renewable energy capacity.
BusinessGreen reports that Egypt is looking to build wind capacity as well as solar - Masdar to back 200MW Egyptian wind farm project.
Masdar is expected to sign a deal later today with the Egyptian government that will see the Abu Dhabi-state owned investment group begin work on plans for one of Africa's largest wind farms.
Reuters reported yesterday that the company has agreed to back plans for a 200MW wind farm to be located near Suez on Egypt's east coast.
"We will sign an agreement tomorrow to establish the first joint Emirati and Egyptian venture," Aktham Aboul Ela, a senior official at the Egyptian Electricity and Energy Ministry, told the news agency.
The Egyptian government has set a target to generate 20 per cent of the country's electricity from renewable sources by 2020, with over half expected to come from wind power – around 7GW in total.
When completed, the new wind farm will increase Egypt's installed wind energy capacity by around 50 per cent from the 430MW that is currently installed.
Egypt is a significant oil and gas producer, but is seen as having huge potential as a provider of wind energy as a result of strong and consistent wind speeds averaging over 9m per second and a stable electricity grid infrastructure.