Eilat is a beach city, an escape for anyone looking to catch some of its year-round sun. Most days of the week, its visitors are wearing flip-flops rather than ties. That all changes in late February, when the city of Eilat and the greater Eilot region host the best Israeli energy event the country has to offer.
For the fourth year running, hundreds of guests from abroad are venturing to the southernmost tip of the Holy Land to make deals in Israel’s lucrative clean-tech industry.
Run by the city’s municipality, this week’s Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Conference, which runs from February 22-24, will offer three days of networking, seminars and expositions for anyone and everyone interested in Israeli energy technologies – from banks and governments to utility companies and entrepreneurs.
Making the event even more attractive, the conference practices what it preaches by offering guests tours to the region’s clean technology beta sites, like the Arava Power installation at Kibbutz Ketura, Aora’s massive “flower” solar collector in the desert and Neot Smadar’s passive cooling tower.
This year, it’s a two-for-one: the conference is married to a clean-tech planning conference run by the European EUREKA industrial research program. This organization, whose rotating chairmanship is currently held by an Israeli, will offer a number of joint sessions at the Eilat event.
Among the speakers from the renewable energy world will be Dr. Dan Arvizu, director and chief executive of the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). There will also be plenty of people ready to discuss financing joint ventures and technology, including representatives from Deutsche Bank and many VCs from the United States, in addition to government ministers energy regulators, entrepreneurs, environmentalists and scientists from around the world.