LNRG's position on producing more electricity with renewable sources

Between 19 June to 05 July 2016, the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water requested public comments on the topic of producing more electricity with renewable sources in line with the establishment of an interministerial committee for promoting this issue. The procedure aimed to identify ways for promoting renewable energy production in Israel, which processes could be made more efficient and improved and in which way in order to achieve government targets for renewable energies. LNRG's position is that reference to distributed domestic energy storage in parallel with regulation for microgrids could be an important tool for planning the electricity market in Israel and incorporating renewable generation technologies.

Israeli energy market in general and Israeli electricity market in particular are robust systems, which are dependent on monopolies and are not ready for sudden changes and technological disruptions. We are already witnessing a serious failure in the planning of the electricity market, in light of an almost absolute termination of growth in terms of electricity per capita over recent years - in complete opposite to all projections of the Ministry of Energy and the Israel Electric Corporation, but in a good accordance with the trend in other developed countries. Another good example for the lack of success in conventional planning of the electricity market is the surprising discovery of large gas fields, which have dramatically changed the fuel mix of the Israel Electric Corporation and new private electricity companies. The third example is the decade-old plan to build large-scale solar thermal power plants, which has become totally obsolete with the rapid development of photo-voltaic industry. The main conclusion is that unpredictable factors should be taken into account concerning resources and technology, while providing proper weight to different scenarios.

The point of view of government ministries concerning planning the electricity market is of course centralist and conservative, but a number of important issues should be dealt by policy makers prior to their signature over new regulations and future targets. One of the axioms, currently standing at the base of the question regarding governmental targets in renewable energies is the existence of a single centralized electric grid, though there is a certainly possible scenario, where such a grid would not be existent in the future, whether the policy makers would like it or not. We are now situated in the midst of a technological revolution in the field of energy storage, which could directly and indirectly imply a drastic change of electric grid's role. Massive introduction of cheap and distributed energy storage devices might dramatically alter the consumption profile in national electric grid and even produce virtual or even alternative electric grids (with or without mandatory demand-response control). 

Currently, those are portable cellular devices and portable computers which are being randomly connected to the grid in most homes with no control, though only on the scale of single watts to tens of watts. With the development of storage means, we would be able to charge more and more products and not necessarily from the grid. Recently, those are electric bicycles to challenge the 100 watt consumption threshold. but the true game changer would be fleets of electric vehicles and domestic storage batteries, which have appeared over the past year - combined those might affect both the dramatic change of grid consumption profile and challenge its stability. Though there is control over the issue of electric vehicles as a result of work made by Better Place, there is still no organized policy concerning the utilization of domestic storage batteries. Reference to distributed domestic energy storage in parallel with regulation for microgrids could be an important tool for planning the electricity market in Israel and incorporating renewable generation technologies. A complementary added value of distributed energy storage systems would be efficiency improvement in the electric grid and readiness for unpredictable changes, such as natural disasters.

For this and other suggestions and comments concerning the survey of the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water visit the survey:

http://energy.insights-israel.com/energy/1001/answers