Israel is taking significant steps to meet its renewable energy targets and address its electricity demands by requiring all new non-residential buildings to have rooftop solar panels.
The country, although abundant in the sunshine, faces challenges due to limited land for traditional solar farms and unsuitability for wind or hydropower.
Ron Eifer, head of the Energy Ministry’s sustainable energy division, highlights Israel’s unique situation as a developed country heavily dependent on solar energy while lacking ample land for large-scale solar projects.
To accelerate progress towards its goal of obtaining 30% of electricity from renewables by 2030, the government mandated regulations within 180 days to ensure solar panels are installed on new non-residential buildings. For residential buildings, roofs must be equipped for easy future installation of panels.
Israel previously achieved success with a similar initiative requiring sun-powered water heaters, which are now prevalent on rooftops. Eifer emphasizes the importance of a mix of ground-based solar farms and dual-use rooftop panels to preserve open spaces.
While environmental campaigners welcome the new solar policy, they emphasize the need for broader economic support and further action. Israel’s government incentives include permit exemptions, tax benefits, and premium payments for small-scale electricity producers.