Israel breaks its solar power production record
Saturday was a perfectly cloud-free spring day — perfect for Israel to break its solar power record.
At precisely 12:07 P.M. solar energy was producing 13.4 % of the total electricity being consumed in the country, a new record, The Times of Israel with reference to the Israel Electric Corporation said.
However, officials said that while Israel has been working to increase its power derived from renewable energy, Saturday’s results were caused by a specific confluence of events — high solar production and low overall consumption.
“We are very proud of this,” said Oren Hellman of the corporation. “But it is a specific record. The high percentage level comes because it was a Saturday and the weather was perfect for renewable energy. This proves we can do it.”
“The sun is the biggest source of energy in Israel and we can achieve much greater solar energy production,” he said.
Jonathan Aikhenbaum, a campaign manager at Greenpeace Israel praised the event.
“This proves that when you want, when obstacles are removed, the solar revolution is gaining strength,” he told the Ynet news site. “A combination of sun and innovation is finally putting Israel on the map. The day is not far off where we will reach 100 % from solar energy, like Denmark achieved from wind energy last year.”
While Israel is blessed with abundant sunshine and a robust solar energy industry, production in Israel has traditionally been low, with much of it going to export. The discovery in recent years of huge natural gas reserves has also hampered the adoption of solar energy.
Israel announced in 2015 that as part of the Paris Accord it aims to have 10% of the country’s energy come from renewable sources such as solar, wind, and biogas by 2020, and 17% come from renewable energies by 2030.