Getting the Coal Out of our System

Four coal power plants will be shut down by June 2022 and replaced by a power plant activated by gas. This decision emphasizes the Israeli governments’ commitment to decrease the amount of morbidity and mortality caused by exposure to air pollution. The coal power plants that will be shut down are the oldest in Israel and which cause the most pollution. Closing them will bring an immediate reduction in air pollution.

Before Israel discovered natural gas in 2009, we were importing almost 100% of our energy needs. We were much dependent on coal while 75% of our industry was using coal and diesel. Since we have been producing natural gas, the coal usage has gone down and we are now using more than 70% natural gas. In the next few years these percentages will increase to 85% (and the other 15% will be from renewable energies).

In order for this decision to take place a few things need to happen. Firstly, Israel needs to have sufficient gas reserves. Secondly, as of today, there is only 1 pipeline leading gas from the Tamar reservoir. In order for the coal power plants to close, Israel will need additional connections to the shore from the Leviathan and Karish-Tanin reservoirs.
Last but not least, by the time the coal power plants will be shut down, an alternative new power plant operated on gas will need be active. Looking forward to 2022!