H.E Karine Elharrar
Energy Minister of Israel
Mr. Lior Shilat
Director General of the Ministry of Energy
State of Israel
The State of Israel is located on the southwest tip of the Asian continent, on the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea. Israel is bordered to the north by Lebanon, to the northeast by Syria, to the east and southeast by Jordan, to the southwest by Egypt, and to the west by the Mediterranean Sea.
Israel is a small country with a relatively diverse topography, consisting of a lengthy coastal plain, highlands in the north and central regions, and the Negev desert in the south. Running the length of the country from north to south along its eastern border is the northern terminus of the Great Rift Valley.
The density of the Israeli population (400 persons per 1 sq. km), marks Israel as the third densest of the OECD countries, with a high population growth rate of 1.7% (in 2020), and generally between 1.7%-1.95% (in the past 15 years). A uniquely high growth rate compared to the average in the OECD (0.6%) and certainly compared to EU countries (0.2%).
Capital and seat of government: Jerusalem
Official languages: Hebrew & Arabic
Religion: Jewish (79%) Moslem and Christian (21%)
Currency: New Israeli Shekel (NIS): $1 = NIS 3.3
Israel is a parliamentary democracy, consisting of three branches and based on separation between them: The Knesset (legislation); the Government (executive); the Judiciary and the State Comptroller (Judicial).The Knesset – the Israeli Parliament – is the legislative branch, having exclusive authority in the country to enact laws. The Knesset has 120 members and is elected directly by the voters. The head of state is the President while the ruling authorities are with the Prime Minister.
Brief on the Economy
Israel is a resilient and technologically advanced market economy with a skilled workforce, concentration of venture capital and high quality of research organizations. These enable the country to lead in innovative industries such as high-tech, clean-tech, life sciences, number of start-ups per capita, and venture capital investments per capita.
Israel is one of the fastest-growing economies among all of OECD countries (in the top 3 – according to: CBS, OECD) maintaining a growth rate exceeding average growth rate of other advanced economies.
Exports of goods and services has been a major growth engine in the Israeli economy, Hi-tech products constituting about 50% of which.
Israel is the 5th most innovative country (Bloomberg Innovation Index 2019,) ahead of US, UK and Japan, and 1st in the World in expenditure on R&D. For the past three decades, the State of Israel, “The Start-Up Nation,” has maintained its position as a leading powerhouse for cyber security innovation, among other Hi tech fields.
Brief on the Energy Sector
The Israeli ‘Gas Revolution’ which started around the turn of the millennium, with large quantities of natural gas discovered offshore Israel, allowed for a transition of the local energy sector from coal and liquid fuels to local natural gas. The share of local natural gas reached 66% of Israel’s electricity production. Starting in 2017, Israel has become a natural gas exporter to its neighboring countries.
Israel plans to cease all usage of coal by 2025 and to increase renewable energy (mostly solar) based electricity production up to 30% by 2030. This will also be achieved by extensive investment in R&D in order to facilitate the transition to cleaner energies through energy storage, CC, hydrogen and others.
Israel has a leading role in various regional forums for energy cooperation such as the EMGF, has recently begun the process of joining the IEA, and fosters extensive collaborations in the fields of Energy R&D, Energy infrastructure such as the EastMed Pipeline Project and the EuroAsia Electric Interconnector, and others.
Land (Sq.km) 22,072
Time Zone GMT+2 (DST: +1)
GDP (Current billion US$) 429
GDP per capita (Current US$) 47,350
GDP growth (Percentage) 3.4 (2019)
Proven natural gas reserves: 750 BCM (2P) with additional 45 BCM (2C) available for production
Domestic natural gas consumption (11.8 BCM in 2020 + 4.25 BCM in Export.)