Welcome to Eilat Eilot
The city of Eilat and the Hevel Eilot Regional Council are located at the southern-most tip of Israel. This vast region made up of sprawling desert landscapes is the key to a greener future.
The Eilat-Eilot Initiative is a public benefit company, owned by the kibbutzim of the Arava, JNF, and local industrial, developmental, and academic entities in Israel. It was established due to a shared concern regarding local sustainable development, as a response to global warming and identifying the need to use local resources such as abundant sunlight, wide open spaces and the entrepreneurial spirit among the local population.
Prior to this project, the region was mainly based on agriculture and limited scope tourism. Since agriculture alone can not attract back to the region the younger generation, the need to develop exciting and challenging employment directions, which will reflect the contemporary global discourse, has increased. Therefore this initiative incorporates many fundamental areas to promote innovation and sustainable economic and demographic development.
Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy company strives to make the southern Arava region an international center for research and development of renewable energy technologies. At the same time, the project aims to make the region energy-independent and free from fuel and carbon emissions by the year 2025. This project will enable the region to become an international knowledge center, which houses innovative and groundbreaking technologies, and realizing the vision of Sun Valley in the southern Arava.
By the year 2040 we hope to be in production of 400MW with 300 new jobs among them researchers, engineers, teachers and others. We estimate that the local community will increase to a population of 15,000, who will enjoy life in a region that fosters environment, innovation and excellence.
We owe our vision to Brian Medwood (1957-2002) a renewable energy pioneer. We have dedicated a page in honor of his great contribution to advancing the field of renewable energy in the Arava.
The target of this project is to develop the renewable energy area and simultaneously leverage the southern Arava and Eilat by creating jobs, developing research possibilities, creating clean energy and developing training and academic programs. Changing the area in a multi-systemic and fundamental way, particularly in terms of employment opportunities, will also attract many business entrepreneurs. With the formation of greater awareness to the potential of the Arava region, young educated and talented people will move to the area to take part in the green revolution.
The Renewable Energy Initiative is implementing this goal in cooperation with two local authorities – Municipality of Eilat and the Eilot Regional Council. This initiative is responsible for carrying out the strategic plan, which promotes the realization of the sun as a local resource for developing sustainable economic activities, creating infrastructures, new centers of production and employment, developing research, enriching educational programs and providing opportunities for the communities to become entrepreneurs.
This multi-systemic and fundamentally change of the region created a new reality in the Eilot region.
Renewable energy as a lever for regional development
Eilat Eilot region has become a byword in the development of renewable energy, both at the national and international level. The Israeli government and government departments recognize the organization as a catalyst for change, without direct business entities. The company is a platform for initiating projects, and works to make the Arava into “The Sun Valley for clean energy. “
The actions taken:
1. Establishing a center for decentralized production of renewable energy: Currently there are 15 different sized solar plants that supply 70% of the electricity consumption of Eilat up to the Arava junction, privately owned by residents, kibbutzim and private companies. By 2025 we plan to turn the region into 100% energy independent, free of fuel and carbon emissions. From an energy importer region to a region that produces it’s own consumption 24/7.
The region of Eilat-Eilot is located at the edge of the national electricity grid, which required expensive and polluting electricity transportation, power losses and operating a polluting sub-station (mazut) in Eilat in the months of high demand. The strategic plan of the company recommend allocating land for the development of renewable energy for the production of up to 400MW installed, total of 5,000 dunams, some of which exist and some will be approved in the future. At this point 122MW have been set up. All this economic activity reduces the income risk of the Arava communities, which until now focused mainly on dates and cowsheds.
2. International Conference and CAPITAL NATURE Technology Incubator as a place of innovation and new jobs: Five years ago a technology center was successfully established, in the subject of Cleantech and Renewable Energy, in partnership with the Chief Scientist and private funding bodies (Rafael, Elbit, Yashir Investments, etc.). Following the incubator we have established a new laboratory center with 800 sqm of laboratories and offices, which will constitute the regional Hub for research and initiatives. It is exciting to see how all the rooms are full. The incubator is also a showcase for breakthrough technologies and international knowledge center in the field of renewable energy. The project combines all the local factors, Israeli academic institutions, business firms from Israel and abroad, financial funding groups, government agencies and state companies. The Eilat-Eilot International Conference provides a forum for the exchange of professional knowledge between Israeli researchers and scientists and their colleagues around the world, and brings entrepreneurs and opportunities to the area. This initiative receives support from government agencies, both financially and through partnerships with peer organizations abroad (in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance).
3. Development of local entrepreneurship, areas of experimental and research: Together with ICA Foundation and the Ness Foundation we have established a seedbed “Hamanbeta” in order to foster local initiatives that have the potential to become local businesses up to international standards. “Hamanbeta” supports projects with potential applications and contributes to the development of the Eilot region. Every half year five projects are selected to receive training, guidance and funding toward becoming a business. In addition, an experimental field for Off-Grid technologies was established. The place serves as a platform for Israeli technology companies and young entrepreneurs, who demonstrate and experiment under real conditions. The village is also an instruction center for the use of technologies and aim to create business models and methodologies for introducing technologies and services to the Off-Grid world. Also, all academic centers in the Arava and Eilat opened various clean energies departments, and are currently staffed with researchers and students.
4. Energy and Sustainability tourism “Sun Orbit”: Following the writing of a tourist program we have created a new renewable-energy related tourism, which is significant eco-tourism, and can harness around changes in the operation of existing sites. By this we ranked and expanded the tourism product among the local tourists guides.
5. The establishment of a national and international educational and training center: We have established a professional training center together with academic institutions in the country, which hosts students from various faculties for a week in the Arava to experience and learn ecology and clean energy, along with receiving academic credit. This way we produce a different learning experience and expose the students to the Arava and the opportunities in it. Likewise, enrichment programs for students were written and 800 students from the Arava and Eilat learn and experience renewable energy as part of the curriculum. The center also produces international conferences and youth competitions in order to expose outstanding young students to the Arava and its uniqueness as a center of developed excellence. This competition is held under the brand name ‘SUSTAINERGY‘.
6. Service Center for Residents: These days we’re putting up a service center in the company site, where local residents will receive tips on saving energy, application technologies and opportunities to conserve electricity in everyday life and in building renovations. Also, there are local seminars for residents.
Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy is proud to stand at the forefront of the green revolution in Israel, creating the sun valley in the southern Arava.