Solar power shines at Israeli renewable energy conference

08:31, February 24, 2011      

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Several dozen leading local and international renewable energy firms, government officials and agencies displayed their technology and policy ideas for a greener world at the 4th International Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition held at Israel's Red Sea port of Eilat this week.

On Monday, Minister of National Infrastructures Uzi Landau opened the event with a pre-conference round table discussion on " Stopping Dependence on Oil," a crucial issue with regional instability now driving oil prices to nearly 100 U.S. dollars a barrel.

The annual confab brings together government and commercial experts in solar energy production, wind energy, biofuels, hydro- and geo-thermal power.

The event showcases emerging solar power research and development test beds, located at several kibbutz rural farms that lie along the desert Arava Valley, north of Eilat. With an average of 2,200 hours of sunlight annually and temperatures reaching upwards of 50 centigrade degrees in the summer, the area is ideal for testing out solar power collection designs.

One promising example is a five-megawatt photovoltaic project currently under construction at Kibbutz Ketura, where China's Suntech and Germany's Siemens corporations are building Israel's first-ever commercial photovoltaic facility.

The power plant is a collaboration between the two firms, and the local Arava Power company, founded in 2006.

Arava Power officials said the facility, which they hope to complete in May, will produce enough power for several of the local kibbutzim, and later up to a quarter of Eilat's power needs.

Source:Xinhua
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