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Wind energy industry gets policy boost

Israel’s National Planning and Building Board approved the first-ever policy paper on wind turbines farms in Israel.

The policy paper aims to promote the production of 800 megawatts of electricity and the board’s approval is considered a breakthrough for Israel’s wind energy industry.

According to EnergiaNews, the paper – complied by the Interior Ministry’s planning administration – dismissed the idea of erecting offshore wind turbines and recommends forming wind turbines farms in the periphery and as part of industrial zones.

While wind energy is considered very environmentally friendly, the planning administration noted several concerns as to the turbines’ environmental impact, especially on the migration paths of birds.

The paper recommends forming an interministerial committee to locate potentially suitable land for wind farms; adding that geographically-speaking Israel’s north and south are most suited for such ventures.

The Society for Protection of Nature in Israel expressed support in the initiative, adding that it will work with the committee to devise ways to avert and minimize any impact wind energy projects may have to the thousands of species of birds that fly through Israel during migration season.

The Israel Meteorological Service said that the areas with the most wind potential are the Golan Heights, the Galilee mountains, the southern side of Mount Hebron, the greater Arava area, the western Negev and Eilat.

Israel’s wind energy industry is substantially smaller that the country’s main alternative energy industry – solar energy.

Israel’s wind energy goals for 2020 peg it at only 3% of the power market.