U.S., Israel Team Up on Alternative Energy

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CBNNews.com - EILAT, Israel - At an upcoming conference in the southernmost Israeli resort city of Eilat, US and Israeli government representatives will announce four joint alternative energy projects.

The $20 million annual funding for the research falls under the auspices of the US-Israel Energy Cooperation Act, barring any changes by President-elect Barack Obama's administration.

While legislation allocating the funds passed the US House of Representatives in July 2006 and the Senate in December 2008, the funding has yet to be provided.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Energy came up with $1.2 million and Israel 4.5 million shekels (nearly $1.3 million) to initiate the first four projects.

Shlomo Wald, chief scientist of Israel's National Infrastructures Ministry, told The Jerusalem Post that while he hoped the projects would receive the funding stipulated in the legislation, even a few million dollars "would boost us to a different level."

"We'd be able to fund many more projects, bigger projects, in different fields," Wald told the Post.

February's alternative energy conference will also present plans for a 200-megawatt renewable energy center in Timna, featuring a wind/solar farm, a solar thermal power plant, a turbine plant run by solar energy and the production of bio-gas from municipal waste.

More than 1,000 representatives of renewable energy companies from around the world are slated to attend the conference.

"The Ministry of National Infrastructures views with high importance the development of the Eilat-Eilot Region as a center of renewable energy solutions, and we not only fully support them in this pursuit, but we ourselves are very involved in advancing their initiatives," read a statement from ministry Director General Hezi Kugler.

"The conference is an important step toward developing the alternative energy capabilities of this region and will certainly push us forward in becoming an alternative energy world leader," Kugler said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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