From floating solar fields to wave energy, Israel is developing green ways to produce electricity.
By Tofi Stoler, CTECH
As the world is struck by yet another heatwave, it is hard to ignore the implications of our dependency on fossil fuels. At the same time, it is nearly impossible to detach ourselves from our air conditioners. The five Israeli startups listed below are looking to develop power generating solutions that they say are greener, more sustainable, and more affordable in the long run.
Water-based fuel: Electriq Global
Founded in 2014, Electriq-Global Energy Solutions Ltd. develops an alternative fuel for the automotive industry that is composed of 60% water. Electriq Global’s technology extracts hydrogen from the water, harnessing it to create electric energy to power the vehicle.
The company is based in northern Israeli town Tirat Carmel and Melbourne, Australia suburb Carlton. According to Electriq Global, its fuel delivers twice the range of other alternative fuels, is recyclable, and has zero emissions.
Wave-generated electricity: Eco Wave Power
Tel Aviv-based Eco Wave Power Ltd. (EWP) uses floaters to harness the power of sea and ocean waves and produce electricity. The company sets up its devices on top of existing man-made constructs in the vicinity of shores, such as ports and piers, where waves move in a steady direction.
EWP currently has a facility at the Jaffa Port in Tel Aviv. Last week, the company announced an expansion to its Jaffa facility designed to increase electricity production up to 100 kilowatts. The expansion is partly funded by Israel’s Ministry of Energy.
The company has a second facility, funded in part by the European Union, in Gibraltar. The facility currently produces 100 kW and is eventually planned to produce 5 megawatts, according to an agreement signed between EWP, the Gibraltarian government, and the Gibraltar Electricity Authority, in 2014.
EWP was founded in 2011 and listed on Nasdaq First North, a division of the Nasdaq Nordic stock exchange, raising $13.6 million in July.
Charge-through road: ElectReon
Currently, some of the main obstacles preventing the wide adoption of electric vehicles to replace polluting petrol-fueled cars are relatively short ranges between charges and long charging times.
Tel Aviv-listed ElectReon Wireless Ltd. develops wireless charging infrastructure that can be installed on existing roads to allow electric vehicles to charge as they pass through them, eliminating the need to stop for gas or wait for the battery to charge.
In May, ElectReon announced an agreement with the Swedish government to construct a first charge-as-you-drive electric road in the country. Earlier this year, ElectReon also announced a Tel Aviv pilot for its technology. Founded in 2013, ElectReon is based in Beit Yanai, a rural community in central Israel.
Harnessing pollutants for clean energy production: NewCO2Fuels
Founded in 2011, NewCO2Fuels Ltd. (NCF) uses high temperatures to dissociate carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbon monoxide (CO) and oxygen (O2) and water to hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2). NCF’s device then uses the CO or a mixture of CO and H2 as gaseous fuel for power production.
The gas can also be converted to liquid gas for motorized vehicles. The produced oxygen can be used for the combustion of fuel.
The high temperatures required for operating NCF’s device are produced either by solar energy or by harnessing excess heat from industrial facilities. NCF is based in Israeli central town Rehovot and its technology was originally developed by a team of researchers at Israeli research institute The Weizmann Institute of Science.
Turning the ocean into a solar field: Solaris Synergy
Water surfaces cover 71% of the earth and while land resources are becoming increasingly scarce, most solar power production is still being done on land, taking up vast territories. Jerusalem-based Solaris Synergy (Israel) Ltd. develops scalable solar systems that float on water surfaces.
Solaris Synergy’s structures are built as a grid, allowing natural light and air to penetrate the water, thus not obstructing underwater marine life. The company was founded in 2008 and reports that its product has been tested in operating installations in Israel and is ready for commercial deployment.