SIGNAL Note 20

Rising global energy demand drives innovation, producing reliable and environmentally conscious solutions with the potential to solve the ever-increasing energy burden. Leading the way in energy developments are so-called green technologies ranging from photovoltaic materials to clean coal technologies. These are all aimed at decreasing CO2 emissions and in (the process) shifting international energy reliance. It’s not just environmental consciousness that’s driving a shift in energy production, it’s the bottom line. Eco-friendly solutions to energy demands are increasingly economically sustainable. Therefore, the moral imperative to find effective green solutions becomes more tangible.

As the world’s largest energy consumer, China stands to benefit significantly from new energy approaches which balance growing population needs with broader demands for quality of life. In providing comprehensive green energy solutions to the growing global market, green solutions can provide a viable method to decreasing fossil fuel dependence. To meet the growing energy requirements of expanding populations, clean energy solutions must become an essential element of a country’s energy toolbox. As such, it is of no surprise that China is leading the way with the recent announcement of $360 billion allocated towards green energy solutions and systems R&D.

Effective integration of new and pragmatic methods of energy production into an ever-growing energy infrastructure can be advanced through good partnerships. Collaboration with trusted countries leads to the implementation of cutting edge scientific solutions critical for smart infrastructure growth. To address how China could best utilize green technologies in meeting its energy demands, we will discuss Israeli methods and technologies already developed and in use around the world. By focusing on the connection between innovative Israeli solutions and Chinese domestic mandates, this SIGNAL Note will detail how Israeli approaches can help reduce Chinese energy dependence while protecting the environment.


China Commits $360 Billion towards green energy solutions.

On Jan 5 2017, China officially committed investiture of $360 billion through 2020 towards renewable energy. Per the National Energy Administration’s (NEA) directive, sources like solar and wind will be given priority in the expansion of the Chinese power grid. The NEA’s new mission, to reshape the Chinese energy market with significant allocations in clean energy is game changing. For China and international partners, the creation of large scale green energy production will force innovation and scientific cooperation in numerous vital industries. As a driver of jobs and quality of life, the prospects of clean energy possess many strategic opportunities for win-win cooperation.

According to the NEA, Chinese investment in the green energy sector could produce 13 million new jobs. At the same time, clean energy investment will decrease pollution and environmental degradation across China’s economic zones. To stimulate environmentally conscious power growth, the PRC has also canceled the construction of over one hundred coal fire power plants. These major financial commitments are a clear sign that China is serious about shifting its energy dependence to clean solutions.

As Chinese energy providers aim to meet the PRC’s new power directives, the market appears ripe for the innovative approach of Israeli energy pioneers. Cutting edge Israeli technology in the clean energy sector can be integrated to reach the ambitious clean energy goals recently set by the Chinese State.

Israeli Green Energy Solutions

This essay will detail three significant areas of energy development arising from the Jewish State and will explain how they each brings added value to possible Chinese energy investment.

Although it is clearly difficult to predict which technologies will drive future energy markets, sometimes the views of internationally renown innovators and global investors can direct the search. According to Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a new billion-dollar clean energy Venture Capital Fund headed by Bill Gates & Warren Buffet, solar fuels, energy storage and resource management systems will be at the forefront of clean energy technologies for years to come. Later in this article, we will touch upon Israeli startups that are leading the way in these fields. We will also illustrate how Chinese investment in Israel’s innovative energy sector could help build policy connectivity and closer Sino-Israel relations

Solar Fuels

Solar Fuels are defined as any artificial or chemically produced fuel which, through sunlight or solar heat, creates photochemical/photobiological conditions for thermochemical, and electrochemical reaction. As the lack of name recognition may indicate, Solar Fuel science is just now reaching the market in economically viable forms. Leading the path in this innovative field of solar science are a number of Israeli Startup’s including H2 Energy Now & AORA’s solar-power generation solution.

H2 Energy Now

What makes ‘H2 Energy Now’s’ technology valuable is how it complements existing Chinese investment in green energy solutions. As China has already begun to develop its wind basin in Jiuquan on the edges of the Gobi desert, the Middle Kingdom’s vast solar resources have been under-utilized. If Chinese investors can add a solar fuel component to go along with the highly-advanced wind technology already in place, they stand to produce a large share of domestic energy needs in a clean and cost effective manner.

H2 brings to the equation its tested process for storing and increasing the effectiveness of alternative energy for home or commercial uses. “H2 Energy Now stores energy by converting it into electromagnetic waves that the company utilizes to split the water molecule, resulting in hydrogen and oxygen gas.” As a direct result “H2 Energy Now has lowered the cost of hydrogen production with zero emissions by using efficient, inexpensive materials.”

AORA’s solar-power generation solution

AORA’s Solar Solutions provide another form of solar fuel which could be used in consort with existing green infrastructures to help generate sustainable energy solutions to growing supply needs. As is often the case in creating a comprehensive energy strategy, innovative ideas must be paired with tested processes to generate lasting impact. AORA provides just that.

“AORA’s solar-power generation solution is a solar-hybrid system that allows uninterrupted, green power 24 hours a day to grid-based and off-grid locations. AORA’s Tulip solar-hybrid system uses a gas turbine that can operate on almost any alternative fuel when sunlight is not available, producing an uninterrupted utility-grade power flow. This technology offers a combination of efficiency and location flexibility. AORA develops technologies in the renewable energy sector that are designed to minimize the impact on the environment. AORA’s modular system requires minimal water usage and less land consumption to generate more power.”

Relevance to China’s 13th 5-year plan

Solar Fuel Technology presents a new opportunity for energy innovators to revitalize the existing power grid. H2 & AORA’s experience reflects the sun can do more than drive a solar panel at high cost. Israeli Solar Fuel technology could decrease the Middle Kingdom’s carbon footprint and dependence on foreign energy reserves. China’s 13th 5-year plan has clearly stated, environmentally conscious solutions to energy demands stand at the forefront of China’s broader development into a ‘moderately prosperous society.’ Compounded by going pressure for cleaner urban areas, the value of clean technologies is growing exponentially.

If China chooses to add Solar Fuel to its basket of energy resources, Israel could provide the scientific capital essential to make it an economically viable reality. This would strengthen Sino-Israeli relations and enhance critical R&D ties which produce the market changing technology of the future. As China has already invested heavily in the wind fields of Jiuquan, it is only logical that this clean energy should be accessible to China’s economic hubs. However, as investment currently stands, green infrastructure in China is operating below capacity due to the inability to transport the acquired wind power.

If Chinese energy producers cooperate with Brenmiller or other Israeli based power storage startups, they stand to mitigate China’s energy usage issue while promoting environmentally conscious solutions to increasing demand. The 13th 5-year plan has emphasized, scientific innovation and clean solutions to China’s growing demands will lead the Middle Kingdom into a period of greater economic prosperity. Cooperation with global leaders in energy storage could enable China to reach its desire for increased clean energy capacity and domestic production therein. If Chinese investors chose to make these partnerships with Israeli innovators, the domestic green energy sector could quickly become market shifting in its impact. These partnerships could help China reach its 2020 clean energy goals while pushing the global standard in green energy production.

Energy Storage

Power storage presents the possibility of transferring energy across vast distances and storing it for on demand use. In the case of many forms of clean energy, the inability to effectively store energy reserves deems investments liable to peak hour outages. With solar and wind production, the ability to store and transport is often the difference between environmentally sustainable solutions being put into practice and the continuation of traditional methods.

Driving global energy storage production are an array of technologies from lithium ion to solar steam. Israeli based Brenmiller Energy provides the later, in the form of modular solar-steam generation products. Brenmiller’s “core technology, the bCell module, is a solar-steam boiler that produces regulated and controlled steam at standard turbine conditions (500 C 100 bar and more). The bCell is comprised of a solar field and an energy center where the heat is initially stored. It is then released as steam directly into the turbine inlet. This one-way process allows for the energy center to act as a buffer between the solar field and the power block, eliminating integration complexity and allowing full dispatchability of the sun’s heat.”

Resource Management

As important, if not more so than integrating new and groundbreaking approaches to clean energy are cleaning up existing methods and adapting facilities to be more precise in their energy usage and waste output. As China already has a vast infrastructure of coal and natural gas power plants, the ability to monitor energy production and resource usage is inviable. To address energy tracking and traceability many startups have taken a critical approach to increase efficiency.

Of the industry leaders, Israeli based NortecView builds “solutions that include mobile GIS software, sub-foot accuracy GPS, barcode-scanning technology, and fusion application.” NortecViews systems “enables real-time data collection and installation monitoring for underground infrastructure.” Though generating holistic systems which comprehensively detail resource usage and loss across large areas, NortecView provides data which could make existing power sources more precise while decreasing their environmental impact.

Resource Management and China’s 13th 5-year plan?

China’s 13th 5-year plan has stressed the importance of environmentally conscious solutions to long term infrastructure issues. As such, any process which increases efficiency in traditional energy production and decreases greenhouse gases stands to help the PRC reach its broader environmental goals. Therefore, the approaches of NortecView or others could provide the catalyst to driving down pollution and other deadly toxins.

Through the cooperation of global partners such has NortecView or other Israel companies, Chinese scientists and thought leaders have the prospect of forming dynamic peer-to-peer bonds. The possibility for reciprocal exchange and joint research can join our nations to optimize our collective potential in furthering clean energy solutions and strengthening bilateral ties.

Energy Stability and environmental management are of interest to Chinese investors. For China, the ability to access and apply the cutting edge green technology coming from Israel can only increase its broader role in the global order. If China can utilize the Solar Fuel, Energy Storage or systems efficiency technology being developed in Israel, it stands to meet its 2020 clean energy projections while setting the global standard in clean resource management.

How does this impact Sino Israel relations?

As the SIGNAL Note series aims the illustrate, investment in Israeli innovation and broader scientific cooperation between Israeli & Chinese partners strengthens and solidifies the status of Sino-Israel Relations. In the case of Green Tech, the prospects for cooperation span far and wide. Israeli scientists and Chinese investment could form strong bonds based on a desire to provide energy stability, insulated from the ebb and flow of global energy markets.

As this note as discussed, Solar Fuels and energy storage could be the game changers which could make clean energy a dominate force in the international energy market. And efficiency technology from Israel could help revitalize aging energy infrastructure in China and beyond. Though cooperation between Israeli and Chinese partners these industries shifting methods and approaches to energy management could not only increase China’s energy independence but build bridges of friendship across continents.

Published: 06-03-2017