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Going Green: Israeli Military Chooses Solar Energy over Diesel

By   /   February 5, 2014  /   No Comments

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Thanks to a new plan to install solar panels throughout Israel, the IDF is increasing its use of green energy, replacing expensive diesel generators that pollute the environment.

 The IDF is the largest organization in Israel, with bases across the country. That means we have a responsibility to protect not just the people of Israel, but its environment too.

Across the country, there are dozens of operational sites with generators that require diesel fuel to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These generators have caused a large amount of pollution and have cost the IDF about 13 million dollars per year.

An IDF solar energy panel

An IDF solar energy panel

“We started to run a pilot project to examine alternative energy sources, with an emphasis on solar energy,” said Col. Oded Yackobovitz, a commander in the IDF Ground Forces. “It’s all about combining solar panels, hybrid generators for backup, batteries and electrical supervision.”

The pilot project took place in southern Israel, and after a successful year it was decided to transform dozens of operational sites into solar energy sites. “Most importantly, the biggest advantage is the use of green energy – less pollution and the use of more of natural [resources] to create energy. This plan is a major step towards a greener IDF”, Col. Yackobovitz concluded.

The IDF’s commitment to the environment

The addition of these solar panels is far from the IDF’s first step towards an environmentally friendly military.

During the past several years, the Israel Air force has been transforming its entire energy infrastructure into alternative fuels, with an emphasis on solar power.

“Two years ago, it was hard to convince commanders that the IAF needed to become moreenvironmentally friendly. Now they don’t need convincing,” says Capt. Bouganim, who has been heading the IAF’s revolutionary project Blue Going Green (blue is the official color of the Air Force) for the past few years.

Photovoltaic cells already installed at an Israel Air Force base.

Photovoltaic cells already installed at an Israel Air Force base.

The IAF’s revolutionary project “Blue Going Green” (blue is the official color of the Air Force), is so sweeping and systematic that it seeks a net-zero-energy air force by the year 2033.

Among the methods of energy conservation used by the “Blue Going Green” project are water heating, solar power grids, grey water recycling, natural sewage treatment and natural and induction lighting. (Click here for a detailed article on the project)

The IDF’s largest environmental project began In 2010, when it invested one billion shekels in the“IDF protects the environment program,” created to “mend prior damage and prevent future harm.”  The program was unveiled through a special ceremony at the IDF’s officers’ instruction base. In recent years, the facility has served as a model for the IDF’s future renewable energy projects.  This was coupled with the unveiling the “Solar Farm Project,” 400 solar panels that were expected to save up to 90,000 liters of solar fuel a year.

The IDF has come a long way in protecting the environment, but we don’t plan to stop there. We’re always conducting research and development, evaluating new technologies, and finding renewable energy sources to use in the future.

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