Israel's Energy Ministry proposes nuclear plant

Nuclear power plant  photo: Reuters

The Ministry of Environmental Protection wants to block an inter-ministerial committee vote on a feasibility study for nuclear power.

Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz plans to amend the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22) development plan to include nuclear power. Instead of the planned Ashkelon D power station, he will promote a feasibility study for building a civilian nuclear energy power station in order to meet government targets for reducing carbon emissions. The Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources is forming this policy despite the opposition from the Ministry of Environmental Protection that is instead demanding that tax on coal be raised and use of natural gas to produce electricity increased.

"Globes" last week revealed that the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources is undertaking a survey on the feasibility of a nuclear energy power station and the required human, scientific and engineering infrastructure for the project. The Ministry wants to put the topic onto the agenda of the inter-ministerial committee discussing government targets to reduce carbon emissions but Minister of Environmental Protection Avi Gabbay opposes the move.

It now appears that the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources has already prepared a bill in which one of the clauses is the promotion of a feasibility survey for a nuclear energy power station. The Ministry wants the inter-ministerial committee to vote on the matter in a few days but the Ministry of Environmental Protection is steadfastly refusing to allow the vote.

The Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources proposal says that in order to achieve the renewable energy electricity production target of 10 % by 2020, the Minister must formulate a plan of action by September 2016, and this will require a legislative amendment. The Ministry also recommends extending the period of licenses for producing electricity from renewable energy for another 20 years in line with the life-cycle of the power plants. The Ministry also wants to cancel or reduce the need to put up equity, exempt from the need to receive a license plants producing less than 5 megawatts, and also grant exemptions from income tax and VAT for homes and building producing electricity worth less than NIS 18,000 annually.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 3, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

Nuclear power plant  photo: Reuters
Nuclear power plant photo: Reuters
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