Energy Shortage Feared This Summer

YERUSHALAYIM -

For the second year in a row, Israel faces the possibility of a serious energy shortage this summer, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Israel Electric Corporation CEO and president Eli Glickman said at a company press conference at the coal-fired Orot Rabin Power Station in Chadera that during peak demand, reserves will hover between 1% and 3%, much like last summer, when the nation barely escaped outages.

While many of the power plants have been converted from coal to natural gas, the production potential of the existing infrastructure is still insufficient to comfortably meet demand during the hot weather months. This is expected to change as more private power producers come online and feed into the national grid.

A bright light, mentioned by Glickman, is the IEC’s 400-MW Gezer power station, which should complete renovations by July, along with the private power station OPC Rotem, located near Dimona. If all goes well, they could raise reserves to 5% and 8%.

It is possible, however, that a few of the turbines at the eventually-812- MW Dorad private power facility in Ashkelon will be ready in August, Glickman said.

In 2010, the country’s electricity supply was 61% from coal, 36.5% from natural gas, 2.4% from fuel oil and 0.1% from private power producers. Glickman said he expected the 2014 numbers, in contrast, to be 38% coal, 61.5% natural gas from IEC and private power producers, and 0.5% diesel and fuel oil.

Although the government has set a target of generating 10% of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020, Glickman predicted that the more realistic achievement for that year would be between 5% and 7%.