Israeli solar power pioneers take global step forward


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The president of Arava Power Company, Yosef Abramowitz, hired a Tel Aviv firm to raise $10 million to fund the development of solar fields outside Israel.
DS Apex M&A Ltd. will help this new global venture expand the development of solar fields globally, Abramowitz said Sunday.

Abramowitz is looking at countries in the developing world, particularly Africa, to expand the reach of solar power with the yet-unnamed new company.

"Eighty-five percent of Africa has no power,” said Abramowitz. “And most of the 15 percent who have electricity are burning dirty and expensive diesel. We have a moral and strategic interest to end the burning of oil for electricity production worldwide."

Arava sent JTA a statement saying that “Abramowitz’s partnership with DS Apex M&A Ltd. to raise funds for a new company for the development of solar fields outside of Israel is completely separate from his involvement in Arava Power Company.” The statement also said that Arava has no equity in or any connection to the new venture.

Arava has developed the only commercial scale grid-connected solar field in Israel, the Ketura Sun solar field, and is expected to break ground on eight additional fields shortly.  

Also Sunday, Abramowitz was named Person of the Year by the 2012 Israel Energy and Business Convention.

“If there is no profitability, horizon and clarity within six month from today, the majority of international investors in the Israeli solar industry will leave along with billions of dollars and thousands of green jobs,” Abramowitz said in accepting the award.

He also decried the fact that no approved solar projects have gone to the Bedouin.

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