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Addressing Challenges in the Energy Sector in Israel

  • Philip Hemmings
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    Offshore natural-gas discoveries have released Israel from complete reliance on imported primary fuels and are allowing for a cleaner energy mix. Furthermore, additional production will soon come on stream, and there is a reasonable chance of new commercially viable gas finds, and possibly of oil too. The authorities have overhauled the system of royalties and taxes, although how best to use the resulting revenues remains the subject of debate. Concerns about competition in the gas sector have risen following the disruption of imports via the pipeline from Egypt, which has strengthened the market position of the lead consortium developing the offshore fields. Competition concerns in the electricity sector have been longstanding due to sluggish reform away from monopoly provision by the state-owned incumbent. As elsewhere, energy use has important environmental side-effects. A comprehensive plan for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions has been developed recently, which relies primarily on energy-efficiency measures and an increase in the share of renewable-electricity product. This Working Paper relates to the OECD 2011 Economic Survey of Israel (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/Israel). Relever les défis dans le secteur énergétique en Israël Les découvertes de gaz naturel en mer ont affranchi Israël d’une totale dépendance à l’égard des importations d’énergies primaires et elles permettent au pays de disposer d’une palette énergétique moins polluante. De plus, de nouvelles capacités de production vont bientôt devenir opérationnelles et il y a des perspectives raisonnables de nouvelles découvertes de gaz commercialement viables, et peut-être aussi de pétrole. Les autorités ont revu le système des royalties et taxes, même si la façon d’utiliser au mieux les recettes recueillies reste sujet à débat. Les préoccupations liées à la concurrence dans le secteur gazier se sont accentuées après les perturbations des importations transitant par le gazoduc avec l’Égypte, qui ont renforcé la position sur le marché du consortium pilote développant les gisements offshore. Le problème de concurrence dans le secteur de l’électricité dure depuis longtemps en raison de la lenteur de la réforme en faveur de l’abandon de la position monopolistique de l’opérateur appartenant à l’État. Comme ailleurs, la consommation d’énergie a d’importants effets secondaires sur l’environnement. Un plan d’ensemble de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre a été élaboré récemment, qui s’appuie principalement sur des mesures d’efficacité énergétique et l’augmentation de la part d’électricité produite à partir d’énergies renouvelables. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE d’Israël 2011 (www.oecd.org/eco/etudes/Israël).

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    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 914.

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    Date of creation: 06 Dec 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:914-en
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