DOE & Israel Update Energy Cooperation Agreement

The Eilat-Eilot International Renewable Energy Conference kicked off this week with the launch and update of the United States – Israel Energy Cooperation Act, an international collaboration aimed at creating a renewable energy storage initiative to reduce the world’s oil dependence.

The Cooperation Act, which will fund eligible joint ventures between U.S. and Israeli businesses, has already allocated US $2 million for 2009 ($1 million from each country), with a significant increase expected in future years.

“Israel is well-known in the world as a technology innovator. The concentration of scientific innovation in the country is impressive,” said Jonathan Shrier, Assistant Secretary, Office of Policy and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). “This cooperation between the United States and Israel is unique in that we have a partner who brings a lot to the table.”

Two projects, run by Seambiotic and Better Place, have already received approval. Seambiotic is the first company in the world utilizing flue gas from coal burning power stations for algae cultivation. The company aims to grow and process marine microalgae using an ecologically-based environmental system to reduce air pollution and global warming. Better Place is a venture-backed company aiming to reduce global dependency on oil through the creation of an electric car network with a swappable battery.

DOE and the Ministry of National Infrastructures have agreed that a researcher exchange and conference circuit are two important elements of their collaboration. Two conferences in the U.S. and two in Israel will take place annually.

The annual conference in Sde Boker, Israel, will focus on the technological advancements in the Renewable Energy industry while the annual Eilat-Eilot conference will serve as a platform for industry-ready technologies to exhibit and market their offerings. In addition, researchers from Israel will spend significant time working in the U.S. market, while researchers from the U.S. will do the same in Israel.

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