Research and demonstration activities in photovoltaics in Israel

H. A. Arbib, David Cahen, Michael A. Wolff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Israel's program in photovoltaic research, development and demonstration is described. The description includes government policy in this area, as expressed by the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, and an historical summary, based mainly on the long-standing involvement of the National Council for Research and Development. There is also an overview of funding sources, and there are short summaries of a number of past and ongoing research and demonstration projects, including the new national centre for testing solar electricity generating systems, at Sde-Boker in the Negev.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-72
Number of pages12
JournalSolar Cells
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 1989
Externally publishedYes


Traditionally, the main thrust in Israeli solar research, development and application has been in the solar thermal area rather than in photovoltaics (PV). With respect to PV research and development, the long-standing attitude of the government (and of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MOEI) which since its establishment in 1977 has expressed government policies) has been that Israel cannot compete with the huge investments made in PV research and development by the major industrialized countries. Therefore, very small sums (a few tens of thousands of dollars per year) were invested in PV research, and these mainly through local and binational research foundations, sometimes with matching funds from them. Thus, in a way, Israel does not have a consolidated national PV budget. Funds for research come mainly from the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) which, for the past six years, has put special emphasis on energy research, also with funds from the U.S. Department of Energy, from the (private) Belfer Center for Energy Research (BCER), and from the National

FundersFunder number
U.S. Department of Energy
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation


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