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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Israel Aims To Replace Gasoline With Natural Gas To Fuel Transportation

Source: Israel Hayom
Hezi Sternlicht and Israel Hayom Staff

The government is advancing projects to wean Israel off of oil dependence • Energy and Water minister: Natural gas is the greatest engine for growth in the Israeli market • Reform seeks transparency on use of green fuels to generate electricity.

Israel is gearing towards using natural gas instead of gasoline | Photo credit: Reuters

The day is approaching when buses will be fueled by natural gas and private vehicles will run on various types of greener fuel.

The government decided on Monday to advance an initiative put forth by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau, to study the use of alternative fuel sources for private and public consumption from now until the year 2025. The initiative, if implemented, will substantially reduce the price of fuel while boosting environmental protection efforts since the burning of natural gas is considered far less polluting than gasoline.

According to the financial daily Globes, the government aims to have cut the use of oil for transportation by 60 percent by 2025.

The government has given the Transportation Ministry three months to compile an outline of the necessary safety measures required for the use of compressed natural gas to fuel the country's buses. The ministry will prepare a similar outline for private vehicles within the next six months.

The government has also instructed the Transportation Ministry to work with car manufacturers on developing vehicles that will be compatible with a mixture of gasoline and methanol.

In addition, the government will assemble an inter-ministerial commission headed by a representative from the Tax Authority to outline, within the next six months, the prospective taxes for alternative sources of fuel.

"Natural gas — which is expected to be in use by the second quarter of this year — is the greatest engine for growth in the Israeli market. It is a central factor in today's decision to lower our dependence on oil for transportation," Landau said.

Meanwhile, the Electricity Authority asked the Israel Electric Corporation to add a component to the bi-monthly electric bills it sends to approximately 2.5 Israeli households listing how much of the energy used in that time period was green energy. The request is part of a reform seeking transparency in the mix of energy sources that compose national electricity distribution, and the cost of each such source.

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