Just in case you were unaware of just how prolific Israel is in the CleanTech arena, here are some recent news items that will hopefully cause you to catch your breath and exhale with pride.
Israel is one of the leading nations in the development of clean energy alternatives. But who would have thought of using excess pressure to generate hydroelectric power in the desert? Israel’s Leviathan Energy is able to generate between 20 and 60 kilowatts of electricity at its Negev desert test site using its Benkatina turbine inside an underground water pipe. Israel’s Arothron also uses pressure – underwater compressed air energy storage (UWCAES) – to store excess power during low usage periods (e.g. at night). It also deals with sudden unexpected energy demands at night, when solar energy production is impossible. Meanwhile, Herzliya Petuach based Nation-E has a smart grid and clean energy storage system for emergency backup or for selling electricity to the National Grid.
Israel’s proficiency in water technology is remarkable. Even the politically flawed United Nations can no longer ignore this fact. It selected the Dan Region Wastewater Treatment Plant, known as Shafdan, as a global role model for how local authorities can deal with environmental problems. Shafdan utilizes nearby sands as natural filters for part of the purification process. And the Agricultural Outlook 2012-2021 report of the OECD and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated “Israel is now a world leader in the management and technologies related to irrigation in arid environments”.
Israel’s Amiad Water Systems continues to flood us with its successful projects, this time in Russia. Its filters are protecting desalination facilities in Eastern Russia; whilst in the West it is removing iron at a municipal water treatment plant. Now please take a look at this amazing Israeli innovation to clean up oil spills. CleanTech start-up EcoBasalt has developed SB-1, a sustainable material made of basalt fibres that can absorb oil spills faster and more efficiently than other solutions. After 15 minutes, 97% of the oil is absorbed and the oil and SB-1 can be recycled later.
Israel technology is also improving the environment. Israeli Cleantech company Better Air has created a system that improves the quality of the air we breathe by inserting probiotics into air conditioning systems at home, in the office or in hospitals. BioZone’s good bacteria work at the microscopic level to remove contamination, dirt and allergens. And an Israeli, Shay Yalin, has won an international competition looking for "green" cell-phone games. "PET Race" entails having major soft drink companies hold weekly contests focusing on the recycling of bottles. Shay’s idea was featured at the Rio+20 environment summit. Meanwhile over in Israel’s capital, Israeli architects O2a studio have combined innovative technology plus environmental friendliness with their unique design for Jerusalem’s Natural History Museum. The subterranean facility blends into its surroundings whilst preserving energy in summer and winter. Its green roof, glass backdrop, tree etchings and stone cladding merge with the public park where it is located.
Israel’s concern for the environment extends to the other species that inhabit our planet. Israel has succeeded in breeding the endangered bluefin tuna in cages in the Mediterranean Sea. The species travels through Israel every year for about three weeks for its breeding season. Over-fishing for the sushi market in Japan, Europe and the USA, has led to steep declines in their numbers.
Finally, Israel boycotters may be turning green with envy about the Israeli cosmetic products used by Lebanese citizens but a young Caspian Turtle is very happy with some recent Israeli plastic surgery. Dr. Morris Topaz, Head of the Plastic Surgery Unit at Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera, used his skills to repair a huge crack in the shell of the Ramat Gan Safari Park resident. He applied a device normally used on victims of terror who have lost large areas of skin.
So let’s hope, as the composer Irving Berlin once wrote,
“Only Blue Skies from now on”
Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.