The Israeli socio-economic cabinet through a 12 January decision approved a policy to accelerate renewable energy production.
The cabinet endorsed a target of generating 10% of Israels electricity from renewable sources in 2020, with an intermediate target of 5% in 2014.
The target would require approximately 4 GW of renewable energy capacity to be built in the next decade. Solar thermal and photovoltaic power plants are expected to account for over 70% of total generation, with the remainder made up of household PV units, wind energy and biomass. In order to meet the target, solar power plant development is pushed forward.
A development plan is being launched in the south of the country, aiming to build 10 large solar power plants in the Negev between 2010 and 2020. The construction of three 50 to 75MW solar power stations in the Eilot region were also approved, with a call for tenders to be issued in June 2009.
The decision also directs the Public Utilities Authority (Electricity) to publish guidelines within three months for tariffs that will promote large-scale solar energy. Tariffs are to be offered for 500MW of installed capacity, with the tariff schedule to be reviewed by the Infrastructure and Finance Ministers after 3.59GW are in operation.
Other incentives for entrepreneurs to build solar power stations and encouraging investment in R&D will be developed. To speed up the land-use approval process, the cabinet also decided that land suitable for developing 500 MW of capacity would be allocated and approved by the Lands Authority within 18 months.