Powered by Solar Power

Date: 27/04/2011, 12:09 PM

The IDF (Zahal) bases which will be established in coming years will be partially powered by solar power. This is part of the plan of the Environment Protection Department of the Logistics Branch for the next few years. According to the plan, as every base is constructed, some of the buildings within will be built with solar cells on their rooves, which will provide solar energy power. This electricity will be used alongside the electricity generated conventionally, and will be used, among other purposes, for heating water, for air conditioners, lighting, and other electrical appliances.

“The use of this energy is constantly being discussed around the world, and this is exactly the IDF (Zahal)’s chance to invest in it,” explained the Head of the Security and Environment Protection Administration in the Logistics Branch, Lieutenant Colonel Moshe Shabat. “In this way we can avoid harming the environment in the future, whilst lowering the over consumption of energy.” Solar energy is considered the cleanest alternative energy, and the IDF (Zahal) has not utilized it until now, despite how accessible it is. The advantages it offers range from issues pertaining to efficient money spending to environmental safety.

The cost of a photo-voltaic cell array costs approximately 30,000 NIS, but significant money should be saved in the long term due to this smarter form of energy consumption. Moreover, the fact that the Israel Electricity Company must buy back solar energy from private bodies generating it adds an additional initiative. For now, acquiring such arrays is seriously being considered for the south of Israel. This is to take place together with the plans of the military to construct new bases in the south, and move existing bases to the region of the Negev. “This is an area where there are many hours of daylight, and the construction of the greatest number of bases in the past years is planned to take place. Therefore, the most appropriate place to start this project is in the south,” said Lieutenant Colonel Shabat.

Additionally, the administration is working in coordination with the Logistic Material Division of the Logistics Branch to minimize any additional environmental harm. Chalk powder which will simulate hazardous chemical warfare material will be put to use in the NBC exercises of the Homefront Command. This will render the material used until now which is harmful to the environment unnecessary. “This is a new idea which uses ‘green’ materials for use in exercises and prevents environmental harm and the high upkeep costs which the old material cost us,” noted Lieutenant Colonel Shabat.