Sunday, January 14, 2007

Israel and Solar Energy

Did you know that an Israeli company created the largest solar energy field in the world ?

Between 1984 and 1990, an Israeli company called Luz, built the world's largest solar energy fields in the Mojave Desert in California. The system created is based on a solar thermal system that heats liquid to very hot temperatures which is then used to make steam that drives a turbine to make electricity. The Luz solar fields continue to operate today and the Israeli company Solel will be upgrading the system with newer technology that will increase the efficiency of Luz's solar fields by up to 50%.

Did you know that back in 1980, Israel made a law requiring every new building to have solar water heaters ?

Today 95% of Israeli households have them, saving between 2% and 3% of the country's electricity needs each year. Israel is still number one in the world in use of solar power to heat its water.

There are several companies in Israel working on energy innovations using the sun as a power source. What is great about power from the sun is that it does not pollute and after the initial cost of the equipment, the ongoing costs are very low compared to fossil fuels. Some people may ask what do you do at night ? First, most of the heavy electric usage is during the day when the sun shines. Secondly, I believe that the recent advances in battery technology will eventually allow commercial and home users the abiliy to store the power generated during the day and use this power at night. In fact, when the battery technology improves, the chances are very good that electric vehicles (using batteries and electric motors instead of gas engines) will become more common and economical. Some people even say that besides running your car, the batteries will be able to be a backup for your home electricity use if there is a power outage. Sounds great does n't it ? If you would like to read more about adavnces in the energy fields, I have a website with links to all kinds of energy websites and articles at:

Today solar energy is subsidized by governments like Germany and Japan and in many states in the US. Israel has the technology and plenty of sun. As the demand for enery worldwide increases and the price of oil rises, alternative enery will become more popular. During the next few years I believe that it is quite possible that Israeli innovations in the field will bring about the reality of being literally a "light onto the nations". Would n't that be something to smile about ?

Have a good night,


Jay Draiman said...


In order to insure energy and economic independence as well as better economic growth without being blackmailed by foreign countries, our country, the United States of America’s Utilization of Energy sources must change.
"Energy drives our entire economy." We must protect it. "Let's face it, without energy the whole economy and economic society we have set up would come to a halt. So you want to have control over such an important resource that you need for your society and your economy." The American way of life is not negotiable.
Our continued dependence on fossil fuels could and will lead to catastrophic consequences.

The federal, state and local government should implement a mandatory renewable energy installation program for residential and commercial property on new construction and remodeling projects with the use of energy efficient material, mechanical systems, appliances, lighting, etc. The source of energy must by renewable energy such as Solar-Photovoltaic, Geothermal, Wind, Biofuels, etc. including utilizing water from lakes, rivers and oceans to circulate in cooling towers to produce air conditioning and the utilization of proper landscaping to reduce energy consumption.

The implementation of mandatory renewable energy could be done on a gradual scale over the next 10 years. At the end of the 10 year period all construction and energy use in the structures throughout the United States must be 100% powered by renewable energy. (This can be done by amending building code)

In addition, the governments must impose laws, rules and regulations whereby the utility companies must comply with a fair “NET METERING” (the buying of excess generation from the consumer), including the promotion of research and production of “renewable energy technology” with various long term incentives and grants. The various foundations in existence should be used to contribute to this cause.

A mandatory time table should also be established for the automobile industry to gradually produce an automobile powered by renewable energy. The American automobile industry is surely capable of accomplishing this task.

This is a way to expedite our energy independence and economic growth. (This will also create a substantial amount of new jobs). It will take maximum effort and a relentless pursuit of the private, commercial and industrial government sectors commitment to renewable energy – energy generation (wind, solar, hydro, biofuels, geothermal, energy storage (fuel cells, advance batteries), energy infrastructure (management, transmission) and energy efficiency (lighting, sensors, automation, conservation) in order to achieve our energy independence.
"To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality."

Jay Draiman, Energy Consultant
Northridge, CA. 91325

P.S. I have a very deep belief in America's capabilities. Within the next 10 years we can accomplish our energy independence, if we as a nation truly set our goals to accomplish this.
I happen to believe that we can do it. In another crisis--the one in 1942--President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this country would build 60,000 [50,000] military aircraft. By 1943, production in that program had reached 125,000 aircraft annually. They did it then. We can do it now.
The American people resilience and determination to retain the way of life is unconquerable and we as a nation will succeed in this endeavor of Energy Independence.

Solar energy is the source of all energy on the earth (excepting volcanic geothermal). Wind, wave and fossil fuels all get their energy from the sun. Fossil fuels are only a battery which will eventually run out. The sooner we can exploit all forms of Solar energy (cost effectively or not against dubiously cheap FFs) the better off we will all be. If the battery runs out first, the survivors will all be living like in the 18th century again.

Every new home built should come with a solar package. A 1.5 kW per bedroom is a good rule of thumb. The formula 1.5 X's 5 hrs per day X's 30 days will produce about 225 kWh per bedroom monthly. This peak production period will offset 17 to 24 cents per kWh with a potential of $160 per month or about $60,000 over the 30-year mortgage period for a three-bedroom home. It is economically feasible at the current energy price and the interest portion of the loan is deductible. Why not?

Title 24 has been mandated forcing developers to build energy efficient homes. Their bull-headedness put them in that position and now they see that Title 24 works with little added cost. Solar should also be mandated and if the developer designs a home that solar is impossible to do then they should pay an equivalent mitigation fee allowing others to put solar on in place of their negligence.

Installing renewable energy system on your home or business increases the value of the property and provides a marketing advantage.

Vitali said...

Unfortunately after being one of the advanced countries in the field at 80's Israel have abandoned choosen direction and now is situated a few steps behind the main Europe countries in the area of development and also application. The only exceptions are Solel(former Luz) and Ormat.
One of the examples is construction business and solar water heating. Solar water heating systems are mandatory for buildings that are low than 27m and have less then 6 floors, last years many 10-20 building have been built, but without the solar water heating systems. The solar water heating systems was not updated for almost 25 years and almost not relevant for todays reality.