U.S.-Israel Cooperation in Energy
As a small nation with no significant natural resources, totally dependent on imported oil, Israel has had to diversify its energy sources and to place a high premium on preserving its environment.
One area where Israel is an international leader is in the field of renewable energy sources. In fact, Israel is the worlds largest per capita user of solar water heaters in the home, as well as the location of some of the largest solar power stations. Israel has also made advances in wind energy, a technology that utilizes pond water to absorb and store solar energy, research on splitting water using high temperature hydrogen and electric car batteries. More specific innovations include:
In 1984, the Department of Energy (DOE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Israel Ministry of Energy for cooperation in energy research and development. This provided for the exchange of scientists, engineers, and other specialists for participation in agreed research, development, analysis, design and experimental activities. In 1987, the DOE and the Israel Ministry of Science and Development signed an MOU in basic energy sciences, which was renewed in 1996 and again in 2005. Another three agreements were signed in 2000: an agreement on energy cooperation, an implementation agreement for development and demonstration of renewable energy technologies and a second implementation agreement for research and development of electric and hybrid buses.
In 2005, Congress required the Secretary of Energy to submit a report that describes the ways in which the United States and Israel have cooperated on energy research and development activities under the MOU, projects initiated pursuant to the Agreement; and plans for future cooperation and joint projects under the Agreement.