HomeInternationalAn Israeli newspaper.. The “electricity for water” question: Isn’t the Negev sun...

An Israeli newspaper.. The “electricity for water” question: Isn’t the Negev sun better than Jordan?

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An Israeli newspaper.. The “electricity for water” question: Isn’t the Negev sun better than Jordan?

This week, Israel and Jordan signed an agreement, according to which Jordan will sell to Israel solar electricity, while Israel will supply Jordan with treated water. Why does sun-rich Israel need this deal? According to what was published in “The Marker”, “Israel has now not succeeded in achieving the goals of electricity production from renewable energy, which were set for the year 2020. The main problem is the absence of open areas in which solar farms can be established.”

This is infuriating. There are many areas in the Negev that can be exploited for the benefit of renewable energy, and to push Israel forward to achieve the goals that it has set for itself in order to transition to renewable energy. In the Negev 18 days on average without sun. About 60 percent of the country’s land is open land, nature reserves, and training areas, and of course almost all of these areas are in the Negev. In addition, we are today in the stages of developing and testing dual-use, agricultural and electric fields, i.e. agricultural use from below, and solar panels from above.

About a third of the population of the Negev are Bedouins. It is time for the state to allocate for these citizens areas where they can set up farms for solar panels, and it is better if they are agricultural – electric. This will bring Israel closer to the indicators of the OECD countries in everything related to poverty eradication and equality of opportunity in socio-economic development, and will bring it close to the goals of producing electricity with renewable energy.

It is clear to anyone who takes the climate crisis seriously that a solution must include strengthening vulnerable populations. Is it not better to provide equal opportunities for the poor in Israel in the global and national resource? That is, to earn a living from the sun? On Environment Day, in a debate in the Knesset’s Special Committee for Arab Society Affairs, Yosef Abramovich, who co-wrote this article, suggested that Israel set a “quota” for green energy. The Arab community constitutes 20 percent of the country’s population. And if we want to reach equality, we must report that 20 percent of solar energy production will come from the Arab community, and of course from the Arab community in the Negev.

It is clear that if Israel knows how to remove the bureaucratic obstacles, the money that will be invested in setting up the solar farms will be private money. The result will be a source of employment and livelihood for tens of thousands of Arabs in the Negev. Because of the bureaucratic difficulties present so far, with the exception of one solar field, the investment in setting up solar panel farms is in the Jewish areas of the Negev. The Arab residents of the Negev are now using the land they own to produce poor livelihoods, like wheat fields that wait for a little rain that God sends. In a piece of news in “The Marker,” he wrote that the ILA opposes the seizure of large areas of land for the purpose of installing solar panels. But these spaces will not only bring us closer to renewable energy goals, but also to social justice.

We are witnessing these days the consequences of the great neglect of the Arab community in the Negev. Here is an opportunity to put “everyone wins” by creating sources of livelihood and employment for the poorest and most vulnerable population in the country, as well as excellent use of land in the Negev, and an important approach to green energy goals.

Written by: Mansour Abbas and Yusef Abramovich

Ha’aretz 11/25/2021

in details

This week, Israel and Jordan signed an agreement, according to which Jordan will sell to Israel solar electricity, while Israel will supply Jordan with treated water. Why does sun-rich Israel need this deal? According to what was published in “The Marker”, “Israel has now not succeeded in achieving the goals of electricity production from renewable energy, which were set for the year 2020. The main problem is the absence of open areas in which solar farms can be established.”

This is infuriating. There are many areas in the Negev that can be exploited for the benefit of renewable energy, and to push Israel forward to achieve the goals that it has set for itself in order to transition to renewable energy. In the Negev 18 days on average without sun. About 60 percent of the country’s land is open land, nature reserves, and training areas, and of course almost all of these areas are in the Negev. In addition, we are today in the stages of developing and testing dual-use, agricultural and electric fields, i.e. agricultural use from below, and solar panels from above.

About a third of the population of the Negev are Bedouins. It is time for the state to allocate for these citizens areas where they can set up farms for solar panels, and it is better if they are agricultural – electric. This will bring Israel closer to the indicators of the OECD countries in everything related to poverty eradication and equality of opportunity in socio-economic development, and will bring it close to the goals of producing electricity with renewable energy.

It is clear to anyone who takes the climate crisis seriously that a solution must include strengthening vulnerable populations. Is it not better to provide equal opportunities for the poor in Israel in the global and national resource? That is, to earn a living from the sun? On Environment Day, in a debate in the Knesset’s Special Committee for Arab Society Affairs, Yosef Abramovich, who co-wrote this article, suggested that Israel set a “quota” for green energy. The Arab community constitutes 20 percent of the country’s population. And if we want to reach equality, we must report that 20 percent of solar energy production will come from the Arab community, and of course from the Arab community in the Negev.

It is clear that if Israel knows how to remove the bureaucratic obstacles, the money that will be invested in setting up the solar farms will be private money. The result will be a source of employment and livelihood for tens of thousands of Arabs in the Negev. Because of the bureaucratic difficulties present so far, with the exception of one solar field, the investment in setting up solar panel farms is in the Jewish areas of the Negev. The Arab residents of the Negev are now using the land they own to produce poor livelihoods, like wheat fields that wait for a little rain that God sends. In a piece of news in “The Marker,” he wrote that the ILA opposes the seizure of large areas of land for the purpose of installing solar panels. But these spaces will not only bring us closer to renewable energy goals, but also to social justice.

We are witnessing these days the consequences of the great neglect of the Arab community in the Negev. Here is an opportunity to put “everyone wins” by creating sources of livelihood and employment for the poorest and most vulnerable population in the country, as well as excellent use of land in the Negev, and an important approach to green energy goals.

Written by: Mansour Abbas and Yusef Abramovich

Ha’aretz 11/25/2021

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