Israel’s Ministry of Energy has announced a new energy and water infrastructure plan to help the country’s economy to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The plan will require a total investment of ILS 25 billion ($7.1 billion), of which ILS 6.5 billion will be used to fund the deployment of 2 GW of additional PV capacity across the country. In order to support these plans, the government will devote ILS 500 million in state guarantees to support project development.
In addition, the Israeli government said it will try to remove barriers to facilitate rapid and efficient development, while improving the grid-connection process for projects.
The new plans also include the re-tendering of a canceled procurement exercise for the Dimona solar power plant in the Negev desert. The capacity of the project will be expanded from 300 MW to 500 MW and the new tender is expected to mobilize investments in the amount of ILS 1 billion, the government said.
The tender was launched in January and then canceled a month later, due to disagreements between the Israel Land Administration – which supervises 93% of Israeli territory owned by the state and leased to occupiers – and the solar sector. The authorities were concerned that the planned solar facility would occupy land needed for sand mining, which would thus pose a threat to local industry.
At the end of 2019, Israel had around 1.19 GW of installed PV capacity, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Developers installed about 120 MW of new solar capacity in the country last year.