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Study: Political instability pulls plug on clean energy ventures

Citizens' Empowerment Center names relative frequent change in governments in Israel as main cause for failure to execute green energy plans

Billie Frenkel
Published: 10.12.12, 07:19 / Israel Environment

A recent study by the Citizens' Empowerment Center in Israel (CECI) found that Israel's political instability, i.e. – the relatively frequent change in governments – is the main factor hindering the clean energy market.

 

The CECI said that nearly all plans for the production of green energy and the development of alternative energy sources have been hindered by continuing delays or were never executed due to the labyrinthine bureaucracy.

 

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"We all pay every month, through our ever-more costly electricity bill, for the Israeli governments' failures to create a more efficient energy market," CECI General Director Yuval Lipkin said.

 

According to the study, one of the main factors holding the Israeli alternative energy market back is the high turnover of energy, environmental protection and infrastructure ministers.

 

Over the past decade, Israel has had six infrastructure ministers and seven environmental protection ministers in four different governments – making it very difficult for the ministries to set clear goals and schedules, let alone meet them.

 

The study also said that at the current rate, the government is unlikely to meet its most recent environmental decisions, namely producing 10% of Israel's power via renewable energy and reducing emission levels by 20% by 2020.

 

The CECI says both goals, known as resolutions 4450 and 2508 (respectively), were over-ambitious to begin with.

 

The study also found that several key ventures that have been launched suffer from repeated setbacks – to the extent of being held back for up to seven years.

 

The CECI attributed the delays to government and Treasury red tape, years between plans' approval and execution, and difficulties sometimes mounted by municipalities.

 

The past 16 years have seen several government-appointed committees tasked with pushing the alternative energy market forward, but most of them ended up treading water.

 

Eli Salame, the study's author said, that "The study shows how government instability results in such dysfunctions."

 

The past 10 years have shown that Israel has not been able to fully execute even 1% of its ventures and international obligations under the Copenhagen Climate Treaty, he added.

 

"The conclusion is that Israel is likely to keep falling behind in meeting its own goals," he said.

 

 

 

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