A major project is under way between Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority to promote regional water stability, The Washington Post reported. The Red Sea-Dead Sea Project, which required years of negotiations to set in motion, will help rehabilitate the Dead Sea, build a desalination plant in Jordan near the Red Sea, and provide both Jordan and the Palestinian territories with significant new supplies of water. The project brings to bear world-leading Israeli technology to help both Israel and its neighbors combat a multitude of water-related challenges in one of the world’s most arid regions.
Addressing one of Israel’s chief emerging threats, the Israeli Navy is purchasing two German frigates to help protect its newfound natural gas fields located off the coast of Haifa, UPI reported. The vessels are part of a $1.37 billion contract to augment Israeli maritime defense capabilities, an essential piece of Israel’s new security architecture. Israel’s Tamar natural gas field became active in March 2013 and is already supplying the Israeli market. Israel’s larger Leviathan field is expected to produce gas as early as 2016.
The first buyer of Israeli natural gas is the Palestinian Power Generation Company (PPGC), The Times of Israel reported. PPGC will purchase $1.2 billion of gas over two decades, starting in 2016 or 2017. PPGC is planning to build a $300 million power plant in the West Bank to produce electricity from the gas.
Israel has launched a marquee Fuel Choice Initiative and is planning to cut its use of gasoline by 60 percent by 2025, Reuters reported. The initiative is technology neutral and is intended to position Israel as the global leader in off-oil technology and intellectual property. It contains dedicated funding and a stable structure to guard against wild swings in the price of oil, the chief historical driver of interest – or lack thereof – in fuel diversification. As part of the initiative, the Israeli government is offering a $1 million annual prize for the year’s best innovation in the field.
New technologies have helped spur an energy revival in the United States, providing a measure of foreign policy flexibility in the pursuit of American objectives, including sanctioning Iran without risking a potential spike in oil prices, The Washington Post reported. Still, a new study backed by former generals and military officials suggests that the United States remains vulnerable to the global oil market and that more must be done to break from this dependence.