Israeli solar energy pioneer Yosef Abramowitz will launch Energiya Global Capital’s first solar energy power plant in the US, and is aiming to open 10 more overseas projects over the next three years.
Glynn County’s $30 million 22.5MW solar field, in the southeastern state of Georgia, will be inaugurated on Friday and will start supplying electricity shortly after that, Abramowitz said.
The field is the second foray outside of Israel for Abramowitz, who has been working to promote the use of solar energy in Israel and around the world. His company’s $23.7 million solar field in Africa’s Rwanda, set up with his partners, has been supplying over 100,000 people with electricity for over a year, he said.
“Over the next three years we have a pipeline of 10 more projects, mainly in Africa and the southeast US,” Abramowitz said in a phone interview. Ethiopia, South Sudan and Burundi are some of the African states in which new plants are planned.
Abramowitz set up Energiya Global in 2010 with the aim to set up renewable energy plants around the world, targeting to supply 50 million people with renewable energy by 2025.
“This is totally ambitious but totally doable,” he said. “It takes time to create a solar market and the first fields are the most difficult. It takes less time for the ones that follow.”
Along with partners David Rosenblatt and Ed Hofland, Abramowitz established through his Arava Power Company Israel’s largest solar field to generate electricity in Kibbutz Ketura, and was the first to sign a deal with the Israeli government for commercial production of solar-generated electricity.
Abramowitz believes that with government encouragement, Israel could be completely powered by renewable electricity during the day.
“The Arava region – an eastern valley between the Dead Sea and Eilat — is already 65 percent powered by sun during the day, and will be 100 percent powered by the sun by 2020,” he said. “Unfortunately the rest of Israel is powered just a measly 2.6 percent by renewable energy. We could bring that to 100 percent within five years if the government removes quotas and bureaucratic obstacles that are in place today.”
Abramowitz is scheduled to get the Green Globe environmental award from Israel’s umbrella environment organization Life and Environment at the Knesset next week.