The "Fuel of Tomorrow" Convention

Within the parameters of the activity designed to promote the "Natural Resources Program: Energy, Water, Gas, Petroleum and Fuel Substitutes", HIT held the "Fuel of Tomorrow" Convention. This Convention took place on Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 at HIT.
This Convention featured presentations of the latest academic innovations alongside a techno-economic vision. Each panel discussion at the Convention was based on a lecture given by an expert in the field, along with audience participation, to create a significant, multi-dimensional discourse in order to promote R&D in Israel. Among others, the Convention dealt with the following topics: biological and synthetic fuels, the electric vehicle revolution and natural gas.

Convention Panels:
"Natural Gas: Blessing or Curse for the Renewable Energy Industry in Israel?"

Moderator: Mrs. Zvia Baron, Renewable Energy Field Manager, Petro Quantum B.V.

Participants: L.LB. Nathan Birenboim, Consultant to the Minister of Energy and Water; Mr. Eitan Parnas, CEO of the Renewable Energy Union in Israel; Mr. Yossi Antverg, Methanol Project Manager, Dor Chemicals.

The discovery of the natural gas in Israel provides it, for the first time, with a cheap, available energy source, whether for the production of electricity or fuels later on. In Israel, where the utilization of renewable energy is limited and fails to meet governmental goals – Will the use of natural gas encourage, limit, or in the radical scenario, exterminate the use and assimilation of renewable energy in Israel? This, of course, in light of the availability and the economic and strategic value of the natural gas versus the environmental value of the renewable energy.
"Synthetic Fuels"
Moderator: Dr. Bracha Halaf, Senior Director, Petroleum Substitutes Section at the Israel Ministry of Energy and Water.

Participants: Dr. Igor Derj, Director of the Field of Technologies and Renewable Energies, Israel Ministry of Energy and Water; Prof. Itamar Grotto, Director of the Institute for Plant Sciences, Volcani Institute; Dr. Ella Strauss, Head of the Science and Materials Engineering Division, Israel Ministry of Science.
The session dealt with several topics, including: alternative fuels, availability and future options; R&D on fuel cells and batteries for electric vehicles; biological fuels, challenges and prognoses; new research directions and avenues of support for researches and students.

"The Electric Vehicle Revolution"
Moderator: Mr. Shmuel De Leon, GM of "Shmuel De Leon Energy, Ltd."

Participants: Mr. Dan Weinstock, Chief Electrical Engineer, "BetterPlace" Company; Mr. Eyal Salomon, Head of Petroleum Substitutes Division, Israel Ministry of Transportation; Mr. Doron Vadai, CEO, Clal, Clal Motors and Clal Energy.

We stand at the dawn of a new electric era, in which transportation will pass to electric or hybrid vehicles, with the intention of reducing our dependence on petroleum. As always, the beginning is difficult, battery and vehicle costs are higher than those using fossil propulsion, making the transition more difficult. On the one hand, the Regulator helps by offering generous subsidies, but, on the other hand, makes difficult battery-charging regulations. There is also a lack of standards that would enable universality and the reduction of costs. This presentation features a survey of the electric-vehicle market, its emerging structure and the challenges awaiting us.
"From Biomass to Energy"
Moderator: Dr. Sinaia Netanyahu, Head Scientist, Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Participants: Prof. Gadi Rabinowitz, Department of Industrial Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Dr. Subhi Bashir, GM and Owner of Trans Biodiesel Ltd; Dr. Benny Keren, Renewable Energies Head Scientist, REFAEL.

The session dealt with several researches: determining the optimal technological combination in production of fuel from organic urban waste; the influence of preliminary exposure to temperature and ultrasonic radiation on the effectiveness of biogas production by anaerobic digestions processes; enzymatic production of biodiesel from oils originating in fat traps; diesel manufacture from biomass; and more.

"Smart Grid" – Israel Smart Grid (ISG) as an R&D Center
Moderator: Dr. Yoel Cohen, in charge of ISG at the Head Scientist's Office, Israel Ministry of Energy and Water.

Participants: Dr. Yuval Beck, HIT; Mr. Liran Katzir, Standardization Manager, "BetterPlace"; Mr. Boris Kanzepolsky, ISG Consortium.

The recent years witnessed a global trend of introducing alternative energy systems into the grid, motivated by the last energy crisis and the desire to make the grid more efficient. "Smart Grid" is the solution developing in many countries worldwide. This term refers to the installation of a communication network atop the electric grid and the development of network control and monitoring abilities. This session will discuss the topic of the "Smart Grid" as envisioned by the State of Israel via the Ministry of Energy and Water's programs. Further presentations will describe the "Smart Grid" Consortium in its second year of operation and other topics, such as the incorporation of electric vehicles into the "Smart Grid".

"Underground, above ground, between lands”
Moderator: Gina Cohen, Consultant, Natural Gas Industry
Review of natural gas exploration and discoveries in Israel and pipeline infrastructure (underground); Review of the legal, regulatory and marketing aspects of the Israeli natural gas sector (above ground); Review of export options for Israel gas (between lands).