Israel will stop using coal between 2025 and 2030, as a result the country will stop producing coal ash at its power stations, Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection said.
The ministry succeeded to promote governmental decision to close four out of eight coal units for electricity generation at Israel’s power stations by the summer of 2022.
These four coal units at power stations, according to the ministry are responsible for one quarter of all air pollution in Israel.
The pollution ratio generated by coal is up to 1,000 times more than pollution from natural gas, Yuval Laster, Director of Policy and Strategy Division of the ministry said.
Laster said that all the remaining coal units would be closed by 2025-2030 mostly because of environmental reasons.
Laster said that the National Coal Ash Board (NCAB) would not exist anymore because its work to find alternative use to coal ash will not be necessary anymore.
Laster added that even today the cement and concrete industries demand much more coal ash than it produces, so the work of NCAB to find by force alternative uses to it is needless.
Coal ash is disposal remaining after the power station burns coal to produce electricity, in many countries, this is a compound used for various industrial purposes.
Israel has begun mass use of coal for generating electricity during the 1980s, when there were not environmental awareness among public, nor the government or the industry cared about the environment.
The director said that besides the massive air pollution created during the burning of the coal, its remains, the coal ash was thrown into the Mediterranean, and this polluting practice stopped just during the 1990s.
“Israel recognised that it was a violation of the Barcelona Convention for protection of the Mediterranean Sea against pollution.
“The primary solution has been found in the 1990s, and the coal ash has begun to be used as a compound in the concrete and cement from which the houses, apartments, and buildings were built.
“Basically, any use of coal ash was banned by the ministry due to pollution concerns.”
Sinaia Netanyahu, a former Chief Scientist of the ministry, said she forced the ministry to quit from NCAB.
Just last week the High Court of Israel reassured the ministry of environmental protection policy not to give import permission of coal ash, according to the verdict it is dangerous disposal and no economic reasons can justify its import.
“Another concern of these companies is Israel’s tendency to close its coal power stations and to transfer the electricity generation to natural gas power stations and renewable energies.
“This tendency of reducing coal until a complete stop is rushed in 2017 due to substantial natural gas funding under the Mediterranean waters which belongs to Israel,” the director said.