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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Energy Matters: September 2018



The House and Senate recently passed legislation that includes $2 million for the BIRD Foundation and $4 million for the U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence in Energy, Engineering and Water Technology. (AP/Susan Walsh)

Congress Appropriates Funding for BIRD Foundation and U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence

During the week of Sept. 10, both the House and Senate passed appropriations legislation to fund the Department of Energy in fiscal year 2019. Included within the legislation’s international affairs account was $2 million for the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation as well as $4 million for the U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence in Energy, Engineering and Water Technology. Both programs advance technological innovation in various fields sought by Israeli and American partnerships.

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Avi Jorisch: How Israel Can Power the United States’ Clean Energy Revolution

As the United States is increasingly relying on renewable sources of energy, American Foreign Policy Council Senior Fellow Avi Jorisch argued in a Sept. 20 article that U.S. policymakers should turn to Israel for tangible ideas on further promoting the effective use of clean energy. The United States and Israel already collaborate in a wide variety of spheres, including energy, water, agriculture and alternative fuel technologies. “There are countless Israeli innovations, including the solar water collector, which can help America reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and reduce energy bills. As the U.S looks to solve 21st-century challenges, Israel can help it find practical solutions that benefit every American,” said Jorisch, who is also the author of Thou Shalt Innovate: How Israeli Ingenuity Repairs the World. 

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Israel Aerospace Industries Set to Develop a Space Drone

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is teaming up with startup Effective Space to create a small spacecraft. On Sept. 12, the two companies announced that they had signed a cooperation agreement after collaborating for more than a year on the design of the Space Drone spacecraft. Under the terms of the deal, IAI will be appointed the primary contractor of the project. “This partnership is an excellent example of the added value in the connection between IAI—Israel's largest aerospace company—with startups and the world of innovative technologies and business entrepreneurship,” IAI CEO Nimrod Sheffer said. “IAI's vast experience and its expertise in the development and manufacturing of small, light and fast satellites, and the innovative concept of Effective Space, has the potential for significant business activity.” significant business activity."

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Egypt and Cyprus Sign Gas Pipeline Agreement Close to Israel’s Offshore Gas Field

On Sept. 19, Egypt and Cyprus reached an agreement to create an underwater pipeline between the two nations. The deal—which would see Cypriot natural gas transferred to Egypt from where it could be re-exported—has raised speculation that Israel's Leviathan field might eventually be included in the plan. Leviathan is only 30 km (18.6 miles) away from Cyprus's Aphrodite, and Israel’s Delek and U.S.-based Noble Energy together hold a majority stake in both gas fields. Moreover, Israel’s Leviathan recently reached an agreement to supply Egypt's Dolphinus with $15 billion of natural gas over a 10-year period.

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Type: Energy Matters