Israel’s Ministry of Energy plans Transition to CNG for Transportation
In Israel the Minister of Energy, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, Udi Adiri, General Manager of the Ministry of Energy, and Dr. Assaf Eilat, chairman of the Electricity Authority, presented a plan last October to save Israel from energy pollution, with a view of reducing the use of polluting fuel products by 2030. Natural gas features as a solution fuel. By 2040, 13 million people are expected to live in Israel, the densest state in the western world; 6.4 million vehicles will circulate in Israel by 2040, emitting poisonous gases; and electricity production is expected to double. In order to avoid this grim forecast, the Ministry of Energy has proposed the plan to rescue Israel from energy pollution. Minister of Energy, Dr. Yuval Steinitz explained the energy sector rescue plan, to be achieved by 2030, “…specifies concrete steps and measurable goals, including timetables, in order to revolutionize the Israeli energy sector within 12 years. … The present plan sets ambitious but realistic goals.” For transportation, the Minister said the goal is a complete cessation of the use of polluting fuel products in land transportation, to be replaced by electric vehicles and vehicles powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Accordingly, from 2030, all vehicles powered by gasoline or diesel oil will be banned from entering Israel, and 100% of all new vehicles in Israel will be powered by electricity and CNG. All this will be achieved at the same time as maintaining Israel’s energy security, and realizing the economic potential of the energy sector. CNG Station Deployment Following an application process a few months ago, 37 CNG station applicants out of a field of 47 applicants were approved for funding by the Ministry of Energy, for a total amount of NIS 99 million (USD 26.6 million). The deployment will provide a solution for all users of natural gas for transportation and will solve the problem of the egg and chicken that delayed the development of the natural gas market for transportation in Israel and will lead to a significant improvement in air quality, reducing costs and reducing dependence on oil for transportation. Among the winning proposals are 25 public stations and 12 private stations of dedicated car fleets. The stations will be connected in part to the distribution grid, in part to the transmission grid, and in part will function as subsidiary stations fed by CNG tankers. Many of the stations selected are large stations capable of supplying large quantities of compressed natural gas to thousands of customers. The Minster says the impressive response reflects a positive start to the important project of the introduction of natural gas into Israel, especially for heavy transportation. The selected stations will lead to full deployment throughout the country of filling stations, from Rosh Pina in the north to Eilat in the south. Compressed natural gas is a significant solution for heavy transportation in Israel, and Israel has a great advantage in using it: local sources of natural gas, short distances that allow for the construction of a fueling infrastructure providing widespread deployment in a short time, increasing awareness of air pollution and advancing the realization of Minister Steinitz’s vision to reduce the use of fuels, pollutants in transportation and release from dependence on imported oil.