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7:01 pm - Friday November 28, 2014

A Green Solar Initiative in Israel: Install Solar Panels on your Rooftop and Sell Back the Electricity to the Network

| Economics | Rating: 4.5
by Numan

Israelis are offered to install solar panels and sell electricity back to the network

The Israeli government, through its wholly owned electric company, offers to buy back surplus electricity produced by solar panels installed independently by citizens on rooftops.

Israel enjoys sunny days in over 70% of the year. Solar energy suits Israel greatly and even today, many water heaters and boilers are heated through solar panels installed on rooftops producing clean energy.

The problem is that solar energy produced either by photovoltaic or other experimental technology is still very costly (or inefficient) compared to other fuels. Coal, for example, is 90%- 97% cheaper. There are assessments and forecasts that speak of much cheaper technology in the future. We can only hope these will eventually come true.

Source: Wikipedia

Recently oil tycoon T. Bone Pickens has announced an initiative of his own promoting the building of massive solar farms in deserts. Israel is also looking into such initiatives as its relatively big (in Israeli terms) Negev desert is the perfect place for such a solar farm.

Meanwhile, however, the Israeli initiative is more “green” than economic due to the relatively low efficiency of solar technologies. The installation and set up costs of adequate solar panels on a typical rooftop are estimated at $10,000 and annual income from selling electricity back to the network is estimated at $800-$1,000. The estimated return on investment ranges from 2%-4% a year at best.

While it’s relatively weak on the investment side it’s still a great personal contribution to the environment at the household level.

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