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Wave power station in Jaffa: power from the harbor wall

Wave power station in Jaffa: power from the harbor wall

Status: 09/11/2022 15:11

Although Israel has an abundance of solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, the country uses comparatively little renewable energy. A company founder wants to change that: with a wave power plant.

By Christian Limpert, ARD Studio Tel Aviv

The small tourist boat has hardly left the sheltered port of Jaffa when the first wave hits it with full force. The bow rises, hits the sea again. Jane, an employee of the Eco-Wave-Power (EWP) company, cries out briefly. The captain of the ship laughs. After a short journey along the harbor wall, the ship has reached its destination: Israel’s first wave power plant. Eight blue floats, several meters wide and long, bob up and down to the rhythm of the waves, linked by movable rods.

christian limpert
ARD Studio Tel Aviv

Wave energy for 100 homes

On the other side of the wall, in the sheltered harbor, company founder Inna Braverman inspects the generator. It is the heart of the power plant, housed weatherproof in a shipping container. “This is where the waves are converted into electrical current,” says Braverman. In a few days, the power plant will be connected to the Israeli power grid for the first time, she proudly announces. So 100 homes can receive clean wave power.

She points to the two generators behind her, one of which is already running. “When the waves are low, like today, we only use the small generator, and when the waves are stronger, we use the big one,” explains the entrepreneur. “And if there are really high waves, both generators run in parallel.”

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As the founder of the Israeli company Eco-Wave-Power, Inna Braverman has been campaigning for years for wave power plants in harbors or coastal walls. The technology itself is not new. “Until now, systems like this have been installed in the middle of the ocean,” she says. “That makes them complicated and expensive, prone to damage and not very friendly to the environment.” The unbeatable advantage of the ella model is relatively low production costs and environmentally friendly installation on existing harbor walls. It costs around US$450,000 to install a system comparable to this.

Plants also in Spain and Portugal

Braverman has now signed two contracts with EU countries for the construction of “his wave power plant”, larger than the plant in the port of Jaffa. A two-megawatt wave power plant is going to be built on the Spanish coast, that is, electricity for some 2,000 homes. Another is under construction off the Portuguese coast and is expected to supply 20,000 households.

The founder wants to advance wave power plants not only in the EU, but also in Israel. The development of clean energy sources in Israel’s high-tech location can still expand. Israel narrowly missed its self-imposed goal of covering at least 10 percent of its energy needs with renewable energy by 2020. There are hardly any large-scale solar parks in the country where the sun shines almost every day.

Tel Aviv has goals for 2030

The Department of Energy remains at the request of the ARD Studios Tel Aviv unspecific They are working on a strategy to implement the climate goals for 2030 and 2050. To end the use of coal in the country, they also want to use more natural gas on a temporary basis.

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However, Tel Aviv has set clearer goals: By 2030, the city wants to generate 100 percent of the power for its own community buildings and all streetlights from solar and wave power. Inna Braverman considers this to be a good and correct sign. She hopes to build more wave power plants soon, in Tel Aviv and other coastal cities in Israel.