bipartisan group of five senators sent a letter to the Department of Energy pushing for the creation of a U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence in Energy and Water, reported the Washington Examiner. The energy hub was authorized by the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, which was signed into law last year. The center would focus on innovation in the areas of natural gas development, water, energy efficiency and renewables. "As our closest ally in the Middle East, it is in our national strategic interest to work with Israel to promote energy innovation, research and development," stated Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Israel has overcome a number of droughts throughout its existence and has become a world leader in water technology, the New York Times reports. Despite its desert climate, Israel today faces no water shortages and recycles a world-leading 86 percent of its wastewater. Israel also counts four desalination plants along the Mediterranean Coast, with a fifth set to come online within months — together set to produce over 130 billion gallons of water annually, an amount expected to grow to 200 billion by 2020.
from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and the University of North Texas won an award from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for their innovative work in combining three desalination techniques, the Times of Israel reported. The research teams have decided to use the $125,000 prize toward construction of a water treatment plant in Jordan, where water is scarce and infrastructural development is needed. “By 2050, global water demand is expected to increase by 55 percent, and 70 percent of global water use occurs in food production. If the world wants to feed itself, more innovative technologies … are going to be needed,” said USAID Global Water Coordinator Christian Holmes.
California endures one of the worst droughts in its history, Israel’s water industry is offering solutions reported USA Today. Israel has perfected a number of water-saving techniques, such as quotas, drip-irrigation, desalination, and wastewater recycling that California could adopt. Israel and California have worked together on various water initiatives in the past, but UCLA professor Yoram Cohen stressed that “now it’s time to collaborate on commercial water technology projects that can benefit both countries.”
company SolarEdge will provide the technology for Tesla’s solar-powered home battery system, Powerwall, the Jerusalem Post reported. The technology is an inverter system that enables the battery to store solar power during the day and connect to the grid overnight. Tesla Chief Technology Officer J.B. Straubel praised the partnership, saying, “Tesla’s collaboration with SolarEdge unites leading organizations in two rapidly growing industries, solar energy and energy storage, to bring homeowners a more cost-effective and integrated energy generation, storage and consumption solution.”