Friday, March 9, 2018

Israel Aims To Eliminate Use of Coal, Gasoline, and Diesel By 2030

Natural Gas
The Energy Ministry of Israel forecast that the country would be fully reliant on natural gas and alternative fuels for the production of electricity and for transportation within 12 years.

 Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz announced at the energy conference in Tel Aviv that from 2030 onward, the State of Israel would no longer allow the import of cars that run on gasoline and diesel fuel. In 2014, electricity was produced through a 50-50 split between coal and natural gas. The aim for 2030 is to alter that proportion to 83% natural gas and 17% renewable energy, with zero pollutants. Steinitz said he would be submitting a master plan with this vision to the government.

Already this year, the balance of electricity production will be 71% natural gas, 25%-27% coal, and 2% renewable energy, with the economy transitioning to using coal only for emergency and backup purposes by 2030.

“We have abolished the strategy of diversification of fuels,” Steinitz said, noting that Israel had previously believed that this kind of diversification — using coal and natural gas — was essential for energy security. “We realized we can reach energy security even without this diversification.”

“There is a historic opportunity to transform Israel into one of the first Western countries in which energy is produced with zero pollution and harm to the environment,” he said.

The controversial natural gas legislation passed two years ago has been a huge success, having enabled the development of Leviathan, Israel’s largest natural gas field, which is expected to come online next year.

The development of the field allowed Israel to sign its most significant export deals with neighboring Egypt and Jordan since the signing of peace accords with these nations.

In the beginning of February, the partners in the Tamar and Leviathan offshore natural gas fields said they signed deals to export 64 billion cubic meters of gas to the Egyptian firm Dolphinus over a 10-year period. In September 2016, Jordan struck a deal to buy 8.5 million cubic meters of Israeli gas per day over 15 years, a deal estimated to be worth $10 billion.

Israel, a country with scarce natural resources, discovered offshore natural gas fields that may enable it to achieve energy independence and become an exporter of natural gas. The Tamar gas field was discovered in 2009 and started production in 2013, while the Leviathan field — the largest deep water natural gas field discovered in the world in the past decade — was discovered in 2010 and is expected to start production in 2019.

More deals with Egypt are expected to follow the one already signed with Dolphinus. Egypt is estimated to need some 20 to 40 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year for the next decade, and this presents an opportunity for Israel.

The pipeline infrastructure already in place will allow Leviathan to supply gas to Egypt and Jordan when production starts in the fourth quarter of 2019 It will allow Israel to be part of a regional grid connected to the two Arab countries, as opposed to the energy island it has been until now.

Source: The Times of Israel