The Israeli renewable energy market was formed in 2002 when a governmental decision set a national goal of 5% renewable energy electricity production to be reached by 2016. In 2009 the goals were changed and an operative governmental decision has set a goal of reaching 5% production of electricity from renewable sources by 2014 and 10% by 2020. Those goals were translated by the Ministry of National Infrastructures to an installed capacity goal of 2,760 MW by 2020.
Implementation begun by 2007 when the Ashalim tenders, for two large-scale CSP plants and a large scale PV plant, were introduced by Government. In 2008 the first regulative FIT frame work was introduced for small scale PV systems setting a quota of 50MW for residential consumers (systems up to 15KW/15MW quota) and commercial consumers (systems up to 50KW/35 MW quota).
In December 2009 the quota for small-scale commercial consumers was exhausted and in August 2010 a new quota of 120 MW was introduced alongside with an unlimited quota for residential consumers (2011 only). new governmental decision in 2011 has set a quota of 110 MW for the years 2012-2014.
In January 2010 a FIT regulative framework for medium-size installations, for rooftops and ground installations, was approved and a quota of 300 MW was introduced. The framework is license to produce electricity and a power purchase agreement to be signed with the Israeli Electric Company. A separate quota of 60 MW was approved in 2011 for medium size ground installations which are introduced by governmental tenders.
Small-scale wind turbine FIT was also approved in 2009 introducing 30MW quota (consumers up to 15KW and commercial up to 50KW turbines) and medium & large wind turbine FIT was approved in 2011 introducing a quota of 800MW.
Large-scale plants regulative framework FIT, for CSP and PV, was approved in 2011 introducing a quota of 460MW of which 200MW is secured for CSP plants and 60MW is secured for the Timna park governmental tender, planned for mid 2012.
Also, in 2011 a new FIT for Bio-Gas electricity production plants was introduced with a cap of 160MW. Bio-Mass new FIT with the cap of 50MW and innovative technology pioneer plants cap of 50MW are planned for 2012.
Total Quotas approved by Feb. 2012 have reached 2.1 GW.
In Jan. 2013 a new Net-metering regulation was adopted and a quota of 400MW was approved reflecting the perfect equation the local irradiance/system prices has reached.
Israel is moving forward to an era where consumer side conventional electricity tariffs will dictate competition with solar power production and future regulations and caps are prone to reflect the local Israeli irradiance advantage.
The Israeli governmental ministry responsible for the energy market is the Ministry of Energy & water headed by Minister Silvan Shalom. The PUA – public utility authority for electricity is the regulative body responsible for implementation of governmental policy and lisencing and since 2008 has issued the different regulations enabling the production of electricity by the private market (The PUA english report 2011-2012).
The Governmental policy is being implemented by the PUA but also by various ministries, like the Israeli Land Authority and the National Zoning Authority. The involvement of various authorities causes delays and obstacles for implementation of the governmental policy. One of the main goals of GEA-IL is to promote policy implementation & governmental different ministries co-operation.
In Oct. 2011 the Israeli government has begun a process of defining an Economic Tariff for renewables. This process, headed by the PM office committee which includes representatives from all regulative ministries plans to set, by end of 2013, a definition of the prices which are right for Israel to pay for each renewable technology, taking into account various local needs & advantages. The economic tariff definition will allow Israel to step into the Grid Parity era with designated FIT & licensing mechanisms, enabling the local market to flourish and enabling it to harvest the benefit of renewbales, especially sun power, which Israel is blessed with.