Steinitz: Israel to Eliminate Coal Use Completely by 2030

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz. (Ohad Zwigenberg/Pool)

Israel will completely halt use of coal to generate electricity within the next twelve years, Energy Minister Yuval Steinetz said at a gathering in Eilat. Steinetz at the event presented a plan with a timetable and landmark goals to reach that goal by 2030.

By that time, the plan says, Israel will be generating 80% of its electricity from natural gas, with the rest generated by a mix of alternative energy sources. The coal-burning facilities of the Israel Electric Company in Ashekelon and Hadera will be shuttered. Industry, both heavy and light, will be based on natural gas, with a distribution pipeline network for liquified natural gas already under construction.

In the transportation arena, the plan calls for a gradual weaning away of public transportation and truck traffic from gasoline, to be replaced with electricity and natural gas-burning engines. The plan calls for at least 27,000 of the cars to be sold by 2022 to be electric cars, a figure that will rise to 177,000 by 2025 and 665,000 by 2028. By 2030, all of the cars sold in Israel – a projected 1.4 million – will be electric vehicles. The plan will reduce air pollution by at least 60%, and save the state over NIS 78 billion by 2040.

In his remarks, Steinetz said that the plan was “nothing less than a plan to save Israel. If it does not get implemented, we will face a catastrophe. This is a matter of our health, and we cannot afford delays.”