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Israeli companies keen to partner Indian firms for setting up solar power plants in India  

Israeli firms warm to solar power mission

Rahul Wadke ...Recently in Tel Aviv....from the pages of HINDU BUSINESS LINE newspaper. 7/7/11

The $5-billion trade between India and Israel is no longer about just arms and diamonds. Green technologies for power generation and water recycling are the new business mantras.A number of Israeli companies are keen to partner Indian firms for setting up solar power plants in India. They are eyeing huge opportunities under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission for developing 1,200 MW of solar power by 2013. Under the mission, investments of about Rs 12,000 crore will be required for achieving the target.

Israeli tech

For Indian companies, it is an opportunity to access sophisticated solar-power technology developed by Israeli companies based out Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and nearby Kibbutz. “Israel does not have any natural resources. Its only possession is the highly skilled manpower engaged in cutting edge R&D (research and development). Companies based here can offer to Indian companies a number of niche technologies in the renewable energy space,” said Mr Rafael Barak, Director General of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Barak shared his views at a recent ‘Gyan Milan' seminar on clean technologies held in Tel Aviv for Indian companies.

Mr Navtej Sarna, India's Ambassador to Israel, told Business Line that one of the emerging areas of trade was exchange of technologies and equipment for solar energy. Israeli companies have developed high-quality techniques for harnessing solar energy. Currently, these are expensive and need to be customised for the Indian market, he said.Keeping in mind the global scarcity of land for power projects, Israeli companies has developed solar power systems which are compact and easy to manufacture. Some have gone to the next level by devising systems that can float on water.

Mr Yossi Fisher, chief executive of Jerusalem-based Solaris Synergy, says the company has created a solar power system that floats in water bodies. The self-contained system rests on a platform that operates in any fresh- or salt-water body. The system can generate energy between couple of kilowatts and megawatts.“India has a number of hydroelectric projects. It is very easy to put our systems on such water bodies. It will give additional revenues to the power companies running them,” Mr Fisher said.

Zenith Solar is another company which has developed innovative solar power systems. Besides electricity, the company's systems can also provide hot water for domestic and industrial consumption. Mr Roy Segev, founder and chief executive of the company, claims that the combined efficiency of the system is about 72 per cent, one of the highest in the world. Zenith Solar has identified the Indian hospitality market for selling the system, he said.

(The correspondent's visit to Israel was organised by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Israel.)

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