Japan is seeking Israeli experts to help in the rehabilitation efforts of Fukushima.
The city was destroyed last year following a strong earthquake that triggered a massive tsunami, which, in turn, caused a local nuclear reactor meltdown.
The Japanese company heading the rehabilitation efforts has sent a delegation to conferee with Israeli experts and look for local entrepreneurs willing to take on the daunting task.
According to a report which was published by Yedioth Ahronoth, the Fukushima project is in need of Israeli cleanteach experts, especially in the field of recycling and water management.
Lior Daerl, who serves as the Japanese’s company liaison in Israel said that the Israeli companies that become part of the project will receive tax breaks to the amount of NIS 50 million (roughly $12.8 million).
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver left for the country on Friday. His trip will be focused on pitching Canada to his counterparts in government, oil company executives and leading academics as an ideal partner to help Israel develop its newly discovered bounty of unconventional oil and gas.
“Our presence in energy there, it creates a potential that did not exist before,” Mr. Oliver said in an interview.
Since its founding six decades ago, multiple failed exploration attempts have led many to conclude the country, just a third larger than Prince Edward Island, was devoid of any significant energy resources.
But the discovery last year of a field 30 kilometres southwest of Jerusalem estimated by the London-based World Energy Council to contain up to 250 billion barrels of shale oil, together with 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas found offshore, have suddenly put Israel’s name on the energy map. The oil find rivals global oil superpower Saudi Arabia’s 260 billion barrels in proven conventional reserves and was publicly dubbed “the equivalent of Saudi extra-light” by Harold Vinegar, former chief scientist for Royal Dutch Shell.
At minimum, it could mean energy independence for Israel. The country currently imports nearly its entire oil supply mostly from Russia and the former Soviet bloc. Several times throughout history and as recently as the 2006 Hezbollah conflict, those supplies have been blocked off, spawning fuel shortages.
“For them, obviously energy security is a critical strategic issue. I think it is for every country, but for them in particular,” Mr. Oliver said. “There has been talk, and this isn’t a prediction, but there has been discussions of them maybe even being an exporter.”
Canada, meanwhile, has led the development of shale technology, a costly and complex process.
“There are Canadian companies, Canadian science and technology which might be able to be helpful to them,” Mr. Oliver said.
Michael Byers, a political science professor at the University of British Columbia who holds the Canada Research Chair in global politics, said the impact to the region would have been far more dramatic had Israel discovered those resources 40 years ago.
Today, “the most significant impact will be in Israel’s comfort level, [but] that is a significant factor in a dangerous and unpredictable part of the world,” Mr. Byers said.
A free trade agreement has been in place between Canada and Israel since 1997, though despite subsequent expansions it still lacks provisions for the transfer of services, investment or government procurement. Ottawa first announced plans to “modernize” the agreement in 2010 and Mr. Oliver stressed time is of the essence.
“In some cases there are contracts that are going to be signed or are being signed as we speak that could leave us out of markets,” he said, adding the global energy picture in 10 years is “going to look very different and we need to stay ahead of the curve.”
“If we are nimble we could get there in time.”
Bob Schulz, professor of petroleum land management at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, said the possibility of Canadian technology and investment going to Israel “would certainly change the [political] dynamics of the Middle East,” in that energy revenue would give it the means to finance much of its own defence instead of continuing to rely heavily on Western support.
If the plan is to maximize output, then Mr. Schulz said Canada’s energy producers could face even lower oil prices as a result of the jump in global supply.
“If I were a producer I’d want to talk to the minister when he got back and try to figure out what Israel’s plans are,” he said.
With the environmental debate over shale raging in Israel just as hard as it is here, those plans may require more than one state visit to learn.
Source: Financial Post
A delegation of America’s senior decision-makers in the energy sector is currently visiting Israel (June 17-24) to investigate best practices and potential collaboration in the field of renewable and alternative energy.
The week-long visit, organized by Project Interchange, an educational institute of AJC, will showcase Israeli advances and is intended to establish strategic partnerships, foster professional cooperation, and encourage information-sharing between US energy specialists and their Israeli counterparts.
The delegation features some of the US energy sector’s most prominent figures, including Mark Brownstein, Chief Counsel, Energy Program, Environmental Defense Fund; Scott N. Paul, Founding Executive Director, Alliance for American Manufacturing; Brian Wynne, Chair, President, Electric Drive Transportation Association; Stephen Walz, Director of Energy Planning, Northern Virginia Regional Commission; Jorge Junquera, Advisor to the President and Senior Vice President, Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico; and other top energy experts from government and the business world.
“Israel is on the front lines in the fight for energy security and against the worst consequences of global warming,” Brownstein said. “Some of the world’s leading clean energy ideas and technologies were born in Israel, and I am looking forward to learning about ways Israel and the United States can work together to accelerate a global transition to a low-carbon, clean energy future.”
The energy specialists will meet with leaders of Israeli companies on the cutting edge of alternative and clean energy solutions, including solar, electric car, wave and renewable energy technologies. The delegation will visit sites showcasing ground-breaking Israeli technologies, such as the Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research at Sde Boker; BrightSource Energy, Inc.’s Solar Thermal Development Center in the Negev Desert at Dimona; the water desalination plant at Ashkelon; and SDE Energy Ltd., developer of a technology that produces electricity from ocean waves.
Paul said he is “very excited to see what is happening in Israel on clean energy and electric vehicles. Israel is a nation that has moved forward very aggressively on a clean energy economy by necessity. Some of those lessons can certainly be applied to the United States. This visit will spark ideas, cooperation, and better understanding. I’m honored to be a part of it.”
Participants will benefit from expert briefings on a range of complex political, societal, and strategic issues facing Israel, Israel’s global and regional relationships, and Israeli humanitarian efforts around the world.
The delegation is also due to visit Ramallah, learn about Palestinian society and visit Rawabi, the first planned Palestinian city now in development; learn about Bedouin society and meet with the co- executive director of the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development; and visit a Jewish settlement, all to better understand the complexities facing the region.
Project Interchange Executive Director Sam Witkin noted, “Israel has historically had a dearth of natural resources, and therefore its alternative and efficient energy industry has been a priority. In creating this seminar,
“Project Interchange is showcasing leading aspects of Israeli alternative energy industry-wide progress to America’s leading energy decision-makers, creating opportunities for them to engage with their Israeli peers and collaborate for the betterment of all,” he added.
A new Israeli solar technology is able to transform greenhouse gas emissions from the dirtiest of pollutants into a useable fuel for automobiles.
Israeli startup NewCO2Fuels Ltd., in partnership with Australian firm Greenearth Energy Ltd., has acquired the license for a technology developed by Prof. Jacob Karni, head of the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Energy Center in the department of environmental sciences and energy research, as well as supervisor for the institute’s solar program.
The innovation uses concentrated solar energy to dissociate carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide and oxygen, as well as water into hydrogen and oxygen, allowing for the synthesis of the carbon monoxide and hydrogen into a gaseous hydrocarbon mixture called Syngas.
The Syngas, in turn, can be converted into methanol for vehicular use.
Karni’s research, which was conducted in partnership with Dr. Avner Rothschild from the Technion, received a $200,000 grant from the Silicon Valley-based organization Israel Strategic Alternative Energy Foundation in 2010.
Logistically, the solar heat generation occurs on parabolic dishes, which reflect the light captured to a reactor, a focal point of the parabola that allows for extremely high temperature generation, explained David Banitt, the CEO and major shareholder of NewCO2 Fuels. At the reactor site, the carbon dioxide enters and splits due to the heat, with carbon monoxide exiting through one pipe and oxygen through a second, Banitt told The Jerusalem Post. The same process applies to water, for hydrogen and oxygen.
“The process becomes much more effective if it’s performed at much higher temperatures,” he said.
The hydrogen and carbon monoxide can then come together to form Syngas, which in turn can be converted into methanol for fuel.
Methanol is already in use for vehicle propulsion in several countries around the world, and a Dor Chemicals and Ten Gasoline partnership is currently performing an experiment in Israel with a blend of methanol and benzene.
“We would like to produce methanol that would be cost competitive to gasoline,” Banitt said.
Full story via JPost
The government approved Sunday the appointment of Eyal Rosner as director of a national initiative to develop technologies that reduce the global use of oil in transportation. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “The government is working to encourage the development of technologies that will reduce our dependency on oil.”
A dedicated team led by the head of national economic council Prof. Eugene Kandel formulated the guidelines for the national program to encourage both academic research and business entrepreneurship to examine alternatives for the use of oil.
The program was approved by the government in 2011. It was budgeted ay NIS 1.4 billion ($365 million) for 10 years, with the purpose to invest in the development of new oil-replacing technologies.
Prof. Kandel revealed to the ministers that more than 100 alternative energies start-up companies are active in Israel today, in addition to 100 university-based research groups.
Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau said his ministry is already encouraging research and development of natural gas fuels, hoping to present their results by the end of the year.
Rosner (46) was a naval officer, and have degrees in economy and business from Tel Aviv University. Earlier this week he was a group leader in the Harvard Business School CEO Workshop. Between 2003 and 2007 Rosner was the CEO of the Borovich Mozes Group.
Israel and India are boosting their agricultural ties once again: Israeli farming experts will soon travel to Gujarat, in western India, to teach Indian farmers how to optimize crop production.
According to reports in the Indian media, Jerusalem and New Delhi will oversee the joint formation of centers of excellence (CoE) in several locations in India.
“We are looking at a few more states, including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Punjab among others where we want to set up centers of excellence in agriculture technology,” Vani Rao, of the Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv, said.
“This Indo-Israel institute also has an exchange program, under which experts from Israel will come to Gujarat to guide farmers on sowing, cultivation, harvesting and post-harvesting processes,” he added.
Rao, who also visited Agritech Israel 2012, noted that agriculture makes up 17% of India’s GDP while more than 50% of the population is dependent on it.
“India needs to learn and improve on post-harvest management, cold storage technology, packaging and dairy products,” he said.
“In coming years, India will experience huge scarcity of water. The technology used in Israel on recycling sewage water for agriculture can help India save water as well as improve overall productivity.”
Itzhak Kiriati of the Israel Export Institute believes that there is huge potential for growth for the Israeli-Indian relations: “In September 2012, we are organizing Agritech Israel at Gandhinagar in association with the Gujarat government, in which we expect participation of farmers across the country,” he said.