Israel’s cabinet has approved a plan submitted by energy minister Yuval Steinitz to lift the 2030 national renewables target from 17 per cent to 30 per cent. By 2030, the Western Asian nation will strive to make renewables cover 30 per cent of its total electricity consumption, while an interim goal stipulates that percentage to be 20 per cent by end-2025. The target may be updated once again by the end of 2024.

In order to achieve the objectives, Israel will need to triple its installed solar power capacity, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in a social media post. In June, he presented a plan worth ILS 80 billion (USD 23.6 billion/EUR 20 billion) under which the country is set to reach 16 GW of installed solar power generating capacity by 2030. Solar PV development will be led by tenders for large scale projects and an incentive scheme for rooftop PV which includes net-metering and feed-in tariffs. If implemented, the plan will enable more than 80 per cent of Israel’s electricity to come from solar power during peak hours.

“This decision will radically change the energy mix of the Israeli economy and position the country as one of the leading Western countries in solar energy production, at the expense of power plants operating on natural gas and diesel,” the Ministry of Energy stated.

The initiative will be funded through a slight increase in power tariffs, which the government estimates will be between 2 per cent and 3 per cent. “The plan will in the future lead to a reduction in energy costs, while promoting a reliable, efficient and sustainable energy economy,” it further explained.

REGlobal’s Views: Israel had around 1.19 GW of solar capacity at the end of 2019, according to International Renewable Energy Agency figures. Developers deployed around 120 MW of solar in Israel during 2019. The new target will open up a 15 GW opportunity in the solar power space alone.