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Breaking: Israel building the world’s largest solar tower in the vast deserts of the Negev…and it is glorious

The solar tower is a symbol of Israel’s renewal energy ambitions

A solar thermal power station continues to be built in the Negev as we speak. The solar station is a project carried out by the Ashalim community. The idea is to take advantage of sunny Israel to boost renewable energy supplies and provide enough power for 130,000 households.

According to the Israel Electricity Authority, the solar power station will generate some 310 megawatts of power, about 1.6% of the country’s energy needs, or roughly 5% of Israel’s population.

At the moment, solar energy in Israel supplies only a small percentage of the nation’s power needs. Therefore, cloudier and colder areas are currently left behind. Thanks to this large-scale project in the Negev, more areas will be covered. The station is supposed to begin to operate already in 2018. A record will then be hit: the tower will be world’s tallest at 250 meters.

The reason for the tower to be so tall is because the panels were put together to maximize the use of the land, therefore the closer the panels are, the taller the tower has to be.

Israel has always had an economy running on fossil fuels. In the past, various Israeli companies, which developed some of the most advanced solar energy equipment, were so frustrated by government bureaucracy that they took their expertise abroad. Now, things are changing and the government is making a real effort to innovate. The country has set the goal of generating 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, up from the current 2.5%.

On that note, recent legislation has also cut down some of the bureaucracy for Israelis who desire to install solar panels on their roofs.

The Ashalim project is made of three plots, each usign a different solar technology. One will produce energy, another solar-thermal plot will store energy even when the sun goes down and a third plot will use photovoltaic solar technology to produce energy. A fourth one is planned for the future.

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