One of the first manufacturing plants in the world to be completely powered by the sun is in Israel – and it’s a sandal company.
Shoresh, known as Source outside Israel, is working to show how manufacturing plants can become energy independent year-round, and go completely off-grid.
It has installed photovoltaic solar panels on all available surfaces, and bought solar batteries to provide power whenever the sun doesn’t shine.
“Every factory, business or household in Israel produces a lot of greenhouse gas emissions, most of them through electricity consumption, the use of private and commercial vehicles, and waste management expenses that goes to the landfill,” said Yoki Gill, Founder and owner of Shoresh.
“The Shoresh company directly emits 850,000 kg of carbon dioxide each year into the atmosphere and pays 1 million NIS every year for electricity consumption, fuel expenses, and waste treatment (that is sent to landfill).”
The project aims to show how it is possible with today’s technology to build a low-carbon economy. It is also intended to provide a practical example to the entire industry and business sector in Israel of how the climate crisis can be dealt with now.
Additionally, Shoresh has replaced all company vehicles with electric ones, and installed solar-powered charging stations.
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Gill has also ensured that waste is separated at source and that as much as possible is sent for recycling.
And whatever cannot be recycled is to be ground and stored in the hope that the company will get permission for an onsite waste gasification facility – a chemical process in which trash is heated in a low-oxygen environment to break it down into a gas called syngas. Gill wants to use this to generate electricity during the winter.
The demonstration project was done in cooperation with the Heschel Center for Sustainability, and with 50 per cent financing from the Ministry of Energy.
Minister of Energy, Karin Elharer, said: “In the past year, we have promoted many important steps to diversify Israel’s energy sources and promote the transition to renewable energies.
“The transition of the Shoresh factory to energy independence, based on the use of renewable energies, is pioneering, brave, and above all proves that it is possible.
“I am glad that the Ministry of Energy’s support of NIS 1.5 million for the project helped to establish it and I hope that in the future we will see more projects that follow the same path.”