Jimmy Cater couldn’t do it. Neither could Bill Clinton. But perhaps solar power can put a dent in the biggest diplomatic challenge of a generation. The challenge is the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians and, as it happens, both sides have something to gain from a growing solar industry.
On June 5, Arava Power, an Israeli-based company, cut the ribbon on the country’s first commercial solar field in the heart of the Negev desert. The five-megawatt facility is the first of what Arava Power reports will be a $2 billion investment into more than 40 solar projects in the desert that could produce up to 400 megawatts.
The Diplomatic Courier pointed out that the leaders of both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel agree that more solar in the region is something the sides can agree on. “During his two years in office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has often advocated an 'economic peace' with the Palestinian Authority (PA) based on improving the Palestinian economy. At the same time, PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad has also stressed the importance of institution building and economic development toward Palestinian statehood.”
So years from now, when perhaps a peace has been reached between the Palestinians and Israelis, it's possible that someone will be able to point the clean energy as the catalyst for it all.