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Research and Development

Research and development (R&D) is a key ingredient necessary to maintain and upgrade the technologies which will impact Israel's infrastructure and energy sector. Without keeping up and advancing the relevant technologies, Israel's options will become inferior to the work's energy, and infrastructure development alternatives.

Some of Israel's most important resources are technical expertise, abundant solar energy, and some mineral resources, These resources will continue to drive Israel's energy R&D into solar energy related research. Economic considerations in the exploitation of solar energy will continue to stress R&D of high temperature processes and new material research using the unique solar tower facility at the Weizmann Institute, laser driven energy transmission processes.

Material research will continue to have significant impact on energy storage such as cool to hot storage, where material phase change has been used in the past This type of energy storage is important for shaving peak power demand. Technological advances in superconductivity will allow the practical application of superconducting magnetic energy storage device (SMES), whilst the production of short high temperature superconducting electrical wires in laboratories was performed successfully.

Energy storage will also be affected by the impact of material research on battery reliability, storage capacity, discharge duration and the number of cycles (overall lifetime). Battery research will also determine the rate at which electric vehicles will be accepted by the customers. Material research will lead to an efficient, high power density, non-polluting battery which would permit the introduction of a substantial number of electrical vehicles. Replacement of a part of (for example 30% by the year 2020) the current fleet of vehicles which jam Israel's road infrastructure, with electric vehicles and with electrically driven trains will have far reaching effects on the fuel sector (both gasoline and diesel), may lessen Israel's dependence on imported oil and will improve the balance of payment, will increase the demand for electricity and will contribute to a more evenly distributed demand curve, will generate new jobs and will result in a substantial improvement in the air quality.

Biomass, biofuels and waste will constitute a small fraction of the fossil fuel mix. These technologies are largely developed abroad and their main impact will be on the preservation of environmental quality while at the same time generating small quantities of energy - primarily for local consumption. 

Israel will continue to preserve technical know-how in order to be able to incorporate nuclear energy in the future.

The introduction of nuclear energy in Israel will resolve three important issues:

diversification of energy sources, ensuring long term and reliable energy supply source (since a nuclear power plant has to be re-fueled only once a year or even less frequently) and reducing the global warming effect which is believed to be caused by the combustion of fossil fuel.

Renewable energy will be a part of Israel's energy, geothermal, and passive and active solar energy except for solar energy, which is expected to contribute approximately 5% and a few hundred additional MWs of wind power, the contribution to Israel's overall energy balance from all other types of renewable energy sources well be negligible, with probably one exception - the Aeroelectric Tower, which is under development and has not yet been proven, This technology cools dry and hot air, generating a downward flow of wind which drives turbines located at the bottom of the chimney to generate electricity. The energy source in this concept is solar and natural-global air circulation. This ambitious and innovative technology will provide a way to exploit solar energy without using a collector.

The introduction of Natural Gal as a main fuel source will facilitate the introduction of fuel cell technology into the Israeli energy system. Israel will promote fuel cell technology through R&D and international cooperative research.

Fuel cells are efficient, quiet, emission-free, inherently modular, are responsive to changing loads, and have been used in the past on a small scale in space and other commercial applications.

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