Energy Matters June 2016

Energy Matters
Energy Matters
June 2016

On June 8, Israeli company Energiya USA opened Georgia’s first commercial-scale solar field.

Israel to Light Up Georgia with State's First Solar Field

On June 8, Energiya USA, a subsidiary of Israeli solar energy company Energiya Global, opened Georgia’s first commercial-scale solar field. Selected in 2014 by Georgia Power to lead the $30 million project, the 59-acre field based in Glynn County will produce 22.5 megawatts of electricity as part of the 20-year contract. Energiya has previously partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy to build East Africa’s first solar power field in Rwanda. “As an Israeli company, we are proud to help the U.S. government take advantage of the land’s potential, especially in the field of solar energy,” said Energiya CEO Yosef Abramowitz.

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Senators Urge Designation of U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence

The U.S. Department of Energy should work to establish a U.S.-Israel Energy Center, as suggested by law, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) wrote in a May 6 letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. "[S]uch a center has potential to be a leading hub for innovation and research and development for global energy and water issues," the senators wrote. Sent shortly after Secretary Moniz’s April trip to Israel, the letter is the latest measure taken by the leadership of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to support full implementation of the U.S-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, signed into law by President Obama in December 2014.

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Executive Director of BIRD Emphasizes the Importance of U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation

In a May 8 editorial for Globes, Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD) Executive Director Eitan Yudilevich highlighted opportunities for enhanced U.S.-Israel energy cooperation. Wrote Yudilevich, “there are many opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship in the fields of clean energy and natural gas and the relationship between them, including cooperation between companies and academia in Israel and the United States. Beyond the commercial benefits, both countries recognize that this is a long-term endeavor with important significance for mankind and the world in general.”

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Israel's Oil and Gas Exploration Moves Forward

Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Ministry Yuval Steinitz intends to reopen Israel’s offshore water for further exploration. Speaking at the Herzliya Conference in June, Steinitz said that new exploration permits and drilling licenses will become available between September and November of this year. A new survey presented to the Ministry indicated that there are potentially an additional 2.2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas beyond Israel’s known reserves in the Mediterranean. “I have no doubt that promoting development of the gas fields and the introduction of natural gas in factories and transportation will be a huge growth engine,” Steinitz declared.

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Seventeen Firms Bid for Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal Project

Seventeen international firms have launched tenders for the construction of a canal linking the Red Sea to the shrinking Dead Sea. Each proposal will be reviewed by a technical committee said Jordan’s water and irrigation ministry. This phase of the project follows a water-sharing agreement reached by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority in December 2013. Once complete, the estimated $900 million conveyance system is expected to transfer 300 million cubic meters of water each year from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, which experts currently warn is on course to dry up by 2050.

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