Israel’s discoveries of significant oil and gas fields make it likely that the Jewish State will be energy self-sufficient for the future. But like Australia, Israel has a climate that provides abundant sunlight with the potential for it to be converted into energy.

In the southern Israeli city of Sderot, residents of the Migvan urban kibbutz have installed solar panels to the roofs of their houses to produce their own electricity [1]. Now that their rooftop systems are connected to the power grid they are feeding electricity back into the system.

Solar panels mounted on the roofs of their homes do not take up open space like a conventional solar field would, and yet they still provide the benefit of low cost, environmentally-friendly electricity. Migvan borrowed to finance the venture, and with the solar systems producing more electricity than the kibbutz needs, they are receiving an eleven percent return on their investment, and hope to pay off their bank loan within eight to nine years.

This is a remarkable venture for Sderot, as the city is within close range of Gaza and frequently has to cope with missile attacks launched by terrorists [2]

Meanwhile, a much more ambitious solar energy project is taking shape further south in Israel. At a kibbutz in Ketura, Arava Power Company has transformed twenty acres of land on the edge of the communal farm into a commercial solar field. Some 18,600 photovoltaic panels are arranged in rows to harness energy from the sun [3]

This venture began as recently as 2006, when Yosef Abramowitz, a social activist, Jewish educator and multimedia entrepreneur from Boston, USA, arrived at Ketura planning to spend a quiet family holiday with his wife and children in southern Israel. Stunned by the wall of heat that hit him when he arrived he was equally stunned to find that the kibbutz did not use solar collectors to generate power.

As a result, Abramowitz set up the Arava Power Company in partnership with a businessman from the kibbutz and an investor from the United States. Investors in the company now include the German Siemens corporation and the Jewish National Fund. Plans are underway for a large solar field at Ketura that will eventually supply one-third of the peak daytime energy needs of nearby Eilat. Arava Power is also negotiating to lease land from Bedouin tribes in the Negev Desert for solar installations. While today Israel may look to the sun to provide its long-term energy needs, only “the Sun of Righteousness” (Mal 3:2) can provide the spiritual blessings needed to heal the nation. When the Lord Jesus Christ returns and extends his healing beams upon Israel “their sun shall no more go down … for Yahweh shall be [their] everlasting light” and “they shall inherit the land forever” (Isa 60:20-21). What a glorious day that shall be, when God delivers His people from all their enemies and brings blessing to all nations.

[1] Billie Frenkel, ‘Sderot introduces first urban solar field’, Ynetnews, 28 Sept. 2012

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4284653,00.html

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sderot

[3] Isabel Kershner, ‘Israeli desert yields a harvest of energy’, The New York Times, 20 April, 2012