Advances in green technology are reported here often, including advances in solar energy, electric car technology and green bio-fuel from algae for future military and space programs. Interest in Israeli green technology programs came to the forefront recently with a week long conference, Project Interchange 2012, in which a number of US energy experts visited Israel to learn about advances in a number of Israeli green technology projects. Mark Brownstein, photo: Environmental Defense Fund
US conference attendees included Mark S. Brownstein, Chief Counsel, Energy Program,Environmental Defense Fund, who commented that “Israel is on the front lines in the fight for energy security and against the worst consequences of global warming.”
Brownstein, who specializes in utility-related issues including transmission development, said that he is “looking forward to finding ways Israel and the USA can work together to accelerate a global transition to a low-carbon, clean energy future.”
Another conference attendee, Scott N. Paul, Executive Director, Alliance for American Manufacturing said that he was very interested in finding out more about Israeli clean energy and electric car projects.
In the realm of electric cars, both Paul and Brownstein expressed interest in the Better Place electric car network project that Israeli entrepreneur Shai Agassi started up more than five years ago with not much more than a dream that one day, thousands – perhaps millions of 100% electric cars will be plying streets and highways all over using a unique service network designed by his company.
Although it has taken some time for Agassi’s ideas to bear fruit, Renault Fluence ZE or “zero emission” electric cars are now appearing on the roads in Australia, The U.K., Denmark, and here in Israel.
Two other conference attendees, Brian Wynne, President of Electronic Drive Transportation Associationand Stephen Walz, Director of Energy Planning, Northern Virginia Regional Mining Commission visited Israel’s first large scale desalination plant. Abraham Tenne, Chairman of Israel Water Authority’s Desalination Division, gave them a personal tour.
Other clean technology projects of interest for visiting conferees included those dealing with renewable energy, including Shmuel Ovadia’s wave energy projects; and projects involving Israel’s solar energy in Israel’s Negev region that included a visit to the Zenith Solar Energy solar farm.
Zenith Solar, based in Nes Ziona, has been involved in some unique solar energy projects; including one conducted together with Ben Gurion University Professor David Faiman, Director of Israel’s National Solar Energy Center.
The conference, scheduled to end on June 24th, hopes to create more foreign investment into Israel’s clean technology and green energy projects, including solar, wind and wave energy.