Focus on renewable energy, climate change in Israel

12 February 2010

IEA Deputy Executive Director Richard Jones travelled to Israel from 12-18 February. During this time he addressed the Ninth Israel Middle East Model UN Conference on “Power and Responsibility in Climate Change Negotiations” and took part in the Third Eilat/Eilot Conference on Renewable Energy, where he participated in a roundtable discussion on the future of world energy led by Israeli Minister of National Infrastructures Dr. Uzi Landau, joined a panel discussion led by former New York Governor George Pataki, and delivered a keynote address “Energy efficiency – the Quiet Giant”.

In Tel Aviv he also visited the demonstration center of Better Place (a global provider of electric vehicle, or EV, networks and services) as well as Site Alpha, its prototype of a fully automated battery swap station. In a discussion with BP Israel Vice President Ziva Patir, he learned that achieving international standards for EV systems are high on Better Place’s agenda. At Site Alpha he witnessed an automated exchange of batteries in an electric vehicle in three minutes flat, and he saw the system’s capability for handling different types of batteries.

During his visit, Ambassador Jones also had bilateral meetings with Israeli President Shimon Peres and with Minister Landau. In these meetings he informed them of the IEA generally, the World Energy Outlook and IEA efforts to accelerate the spread of low-carbon technologies. As a technology-based economy, Israel is eager to develop innovative energy technologies. Both officials expressed considerable interest in how Israel might become more involved in IEA-related technology work.

More photos of the trip: Photo 1; Photo 2; Photo 3; and Photo 4.