News Summary: No love for solar in Israel

Associated Press

NO LOVE AT HOME: Israel has developed some of the world's most advanced solar energy equipment and enjoys a nearly endless supply of sunshine, but when it comes to deploying large-scale solar technology at home, the country remains in the dark ages.

GREENER PASTURES: Solar power provides just a tiny percentage of Israel's energy needs, leaving it far behind colder, cloudier counterparts in Europe. Israeli solar companies, frustrated by government bureaucracy, have taken their expertise abroad. Industry leaders such as Germany and Italy have outpaced Israel in solar development, despite having fewer sunny days and less powerful sunrays. The Germans, for instance, generate nearly 12 times as much solar power per capita as their Israeli counterparts, according to official statistics from both countries.

BROKEN HOUSEHOLD: One of the biggest complaints by Israeli solar companies is the bureaucracy. Smadar Bat-Adam, chief of staff for Israel's Energy and Water Resources Ministry, acknowledged that red tape has been an issue. But she targets set years ago to ramp up solar power were overly ambitious. Israel is on track to reach its 2020 benchmark of generating 10 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources, she said.

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