• Israel’s Ministry of Energy sees the country installing 6 GW of solar PV capacity over next 6 to 7 years to be able to achieve the national target of 17% renewable energy by 2030, according to GTM
  • The country already has more than 1 GW of PV installed and it also plans to explore floating solar potential
  • Solar currently contributes around 5% of total electricity generation in Israel, and distributed solar is growing steadily
  • GTM says the government needs to set up more substations and also create transmission lines, especially in solar rich regions and streamline its contracting process before it can get ready for the solar boom in the market

To reach the national target of 17% renewable energy in its total energy mix by 2030, Israel will be looking at installing around 6 GW of solar PV capacity, said Udi Adiri, Director General at the country’s Energy Ministry, while speaking to GTM of Wood Mackenzie Business.

Adiri said the government will plan to have this capacity installed over the next 6 or 7 years, so as to have all the capacity generating electricity by 2030. GTM says more than 1 GW of PV has already been installed in the country, with distributed solar market close on track of crossing 2 GW of cumulative installations in 2022. Floating solar is another area the country is looking at.

Solar has now started generating around 5% of the total electricity generation in Israel, which has a short term 10% renewables target by 2020.

Like several markets around the globe, Israel has been a feed-in-tariff market, but is gradually moving to a competitive auction mechanism. “Earlier, the government issued quotas with a fixed tariff for whatever generation was produced. Currently, the government is finalizing its first transmission-connected solar auction,” according to GTM, while recommending an overhaul of its existing transmission and distribution network to be able to absorb the increasing levels of solar.

Several big players are already active in the solar market of Israel. EDF Renewables had around 300 MW of installed PV in the country in October 2018 when it commissioned 5 solar projects with 101 MW aggregate capacity (see EDF Renewables Commissions 101 MW PV In Israel). Earlier in 2018, Germany’s Belectric switched on a 30 MW PV plant in Negev Desert, taking its total installed solar power capacity in Israel to about 200 MW (see 30 MW PV Project Online In Israel).

GTM suggests the country spruce up its transmission capacity and create substations especially in its richest solar regions inland and south, in the Negev desert and eastern Arava, between the Dead Sea and southern part of Eilat, as well as streamline its contracting process, before it gets ready for the solar boom in the market.