The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
World's Tallest Solar Tower to Supply 120,000 Homes With Renewable Energy
Megalim Solar Power—a joint venture between Oakland, California's Brightsource and French engineering firm Alstom—is the company behind the $773 million project along with shareholders such as General Electric.
Israel's new solar tower will stand at the center of a 3.15 square kilometer field covered by more than 50,000 sun-tracking heliostats (mirrors) Brightsource said in a press release. The cumulative surface area of the complex covers more than 1 million square meters.
The mirrors track the sun while concentrating sunlight onto a boiler atop the tower which will produce high temperatures at high pressures to feed a steam turbine to generate electricity.
The electricity generated at the facility will be enough to supply 120,000 homes with clean energy and will avoid 110,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year over the course of its life, Brightsource said on its website.
The tower will supply 1 percent of Israel's electricity under an agreement with the Israeli government, Reuters reported.
Although 1 percent might sound like a small slice of Israel's energy mix, the tower is part of the country's goal to meet 10 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy sources by 2020. The government has called for the building of renewable energy sources in the Negev and Arava regions of at least 250 megawatts each year.
In 2014, Israel's primary energy consumption came mainly from petroleum and other liquids (42 percent), coal (29 percent) and natural gas (28 percent), according to BP Statistical Review of World Energy.
However, with its ample sunshine, Israel has "excellent" potential to tap into solar as a renewable energy source, Israel's Ministry of Energy and Water Resources said on its website.
"Many countries are investing in the development and construction of power stations that run on clean energy, due to considerations such as environmental protection, a steep rise in fossil fuel prices and dependence on the suppliers of those fuels, some of which are located in hostile or unstable countries," the agency continued. "At the heart of these trends lies the realization that reserves of exhaustible energy sources will not last forever, and that we must therefore prepare by diversifying energy sources now."
The European Investment Bank (EIB), which contributed a loan agreement for 150 million Euros (about $167 million dollars) to the project, said the tower is an "important step towards the fulfilment of the objectives of the [European Union] as well as Israel’s national priority objectives relating to combating climate change and supporting renewable energy, as it will emit significantly less greenhouse gases and other pollutants than conventional thermal power plants."
While Megalim's tower is privately funded now, when operations commence by late 2017, the Israeli government has already committed to buying the power it generates at an above-market price, Reuters reported.
Learn more about the tower in the video below.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Allegra Kirkland, Jeremy Deaton, Molly Taft, Mina Lee and Josh Landis
Climate change is already here. It's not something that can simply be ignored by cable news or dismissed by sitting U.S. senators in a Twitter joke. Nor is it a fantastical scenario like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012 that starts with a single crack in the Arctic ice shelf or earthquake tearing through Los Angeles, and results, a few weeks or years later, in the end of life on Earth as we know it.
Air pollution particles that a pregnant woman inhales have the potential to travel through the lungs and breach the fetal side of the placenta, indicating that unborn babies are exposed to black carbon from motor vehicles and fuel burning, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.
Teen activist Greta Thunberg delivered a talking-to to members of Congress Tuesday during a meeting of the Senate Climate Change Task Force after politicians praised her and other youth activists for their efforts and asked their advice on how to fight climate change.
The University of California system will dump all of its investments from fossil fuels, as the Associated Press reported. The university system controls over $84 billion between its pension fund and its endowment. However, the announcement about its investments is not aimed to please activists.
By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
World leaders have a formidable task: setting a course to save our future. The extreme weather made more frequent and severe by climate change is here. This spring, devastating cyclones impacted 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Record heatwaves are hitting Europe and other regions — this July was the hottest month in modern record globally. Much of India is again suffering severe drought.
By Mark Hertsgaard
The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."