Alternative energy: The Israeli government, in cooperation with private companies headed by former defense establishment officials, plans to build a solar power plant in the Negev. Within two and half years, Israelis are set to enjoy energy produced at the station, which
according to plans will provide 50 percent of the country's electricity consumption in the future.
The revolutionary project is being promoted by Vice Premier Shimon Peres, who already received PM Ehud Olmert's blessing to go ahead with the program. The station is set to be erected near the Jordanian border and supply energy to the neighboring Kingdom as well. King Abdullah himself has already expressed great interest in the initiative.
Peres said that Israel must develop technologies for producing solar energy that can replace the country's total dependency on gas, coal and fuel. "Israel must become a global leader in this field. It's better for us to rely on the sunlight, which we have in abundance, than on the politically-flavored Saudi oil," he stated.
Among the prominent people leading the program, the names of Arrow and Comet missiles developer, Engineer Dov Raviv, and of former PM Office Director-General Amos Yaron, stand out.
In the coming days, the State is expected to sign an agreement with Raviv's company MST, which will invest USD five million in the project.
"Israel is facing a serious problem, and solar energy is a source that can sustain us for billions of years," Raviv said.
Raviv claimed that the world's oil and gas reserves stand to run out within 40 years. The power station, he said, would be able to provide 50 percent of Israel's energy consumption after 15 years, and 80 percent of consumption after 30. The project will also supply jobs for thousands of employees, mostly Negev residents.