Update : “Yes, the project can be important for the peace of the region. We plan to sell power from the project directly to the PA and to Jordan. Also having Med Sea water in a deep layer in the Dead Sea will enable desalination for supplying more water for Jericho and for Amman. Presently we have registered the project company in Israel, we have a very good manager for the project, an Israeli Engineer Danny Sherban, Yodfat Engineers. We also have very competent Israeli legal adviser for the project.
We are lacking $1million for the preliminary preparations for application for the project as a Independent Power Producer Project with the Israeli company.” Message by Randophe Gonce.
How it started..
I have been in Gaza in 1991, witnessing the squalor the people there have to survive in. At that time there where still bombs going off and Israel was on high alert. Soldiers where partying like it was 1999 when they had to go to serve and risk their lives. Tragedy was obvious on both sides. Later I understood the tragedy even better when I saw a girl going hysteric on a flight to Bankok. She had just read about an attack on a checkpoint killing one soldier, and her brother was serving there. It was for all its political reasons a simple russian roulette for Isrealis and palestinians
in 2014, 23 years later, it still is. No amount of political negotiation has helped. But as the oil supply from Saudi Arabia is slowing the role of Israel in the Middle East is shrinking. It costs billions of USD to keep it in it’s precarious power balance. Somehow the situation needs to be defused. A way to do this is by giving something to both sides that makes then believe in a future, a prosperous one. Then the militant groups on both sides would lose their support and everyone would try to live a good life. Of course this is somewhat naive, but reality is a result of a complex equation and it would be arrogant to expect a specific outcome. Most people (jews and arabs) I talked to in 1991 did not care about politics and just wanted to make a living.
The solar map of Isreal..good news!
For those that just want to make a living there is a solution, primarily it is solar energy. The country is flooded with it every day. I didn’t check but it is highly likely the land surface of Israel and the occupied territories could power the world several times. Even if it could power the world only 0.1 times, it could still power itself a zillion times. This means it could power it’s cars, factories, bakeries, city lights, tvs, airco’s multiple times. To live in a sunny country means living in a garden of eden of wealth. Need fresh water? Use solar energy. Isreal could be 100% green, lush land, and that’s without doing any calculations. Now imagine trying to make peace in the dry land it is right now (not everywhere true), or in the green lush irrigated land it can be.
The Golan Heights are green, the rest of Israel is not..
Imagine a negotiation where the stakes where not pieces of settlements on arid hills and unforgiving rocky ground, but where there was new farmland to be divided, farmland that existed on the condition that both side cooperate, and not if both sides kept obstructing. There is a real practical scenario for that, it lies in the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea lies in a valley that is dry and arid. I personally felt the panic of someone running out of water when I was dropped of by a car on a crossing close to Jericho, and realized walking to Jericho was not going to be easy in the incredible heat. No amount of sweating was going to save us in that furnace it seemed. Now I would say “Wow, what incredible amount of energy and wealth could be harvested here!”. It’s a natural solar collector, and it dumps its energy by evaporating the Dead Sea. Some think it is the entrance to Hell 😉
Yet the Dead Sea has another gift which is the point of this piece. It lies deep beneath the Mediterranean basin, about 306 meters according to Wikipedia . It has different sunlight, less bad UVA, the atmosphere is actually a bit different and has more Br2 instead of O2, making people Euforic if they stay long enough. But lets think about that for a second, 306 meters below sea level. That is almost the same height as the Jinping-I Dam in China. That dam (not finished apparently) will produce 16 and 18 TW·h(billion kW·h) every year. So in short, if you could get water to the dead sea you could build a huge hydroelectric power plant. Jinping-I dam you would not have to pour trillions of tons of concrete, you would only have to lay a pipe across the land from the Mediterranean basin to the Dead Sea..
The image above talks about ‘Saving the Dead Sea’, it suggest pumping water over a hill vertically from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. It does suggest a desalination plant and hydro electric power plant, but of course it makes much more sense to do it from left to right. It’s not about ‘Saving’ anything, it is about a huge windfall of energy to be harvested and fresh water to be gained from this geological feature.
As always when you start googling a good idea you find that other people thought of it too, and even have developed a complete plan. This plan is the Dead Sea Power Project. It suggests to tunnel the relatively short distance to the dead sea. There are details on every part of the enterprise.
“The penstock from the reservoir to the Dead will be designed to provide for 800 cm/sec flow, enough to power 2500 megawatt hydro turbine generator capacity. “
The plan includes thought about where the relatively fresh water will flow in the Dead Sea. When I started to write this article I knew people had tried to build the proposed pipeline and ran into trouble because of non-cooperation along the route the pipe would follow. Every area the pipe travelled through wanted to get something out of it. It seems tunneling will reduce that type of problem, because it would be much less visible and intrusive, and legaly local authorities may have less to say about it.
Project is imagined by Yodfat Engineers
In any case renewable energy, especially from the Dead Sea, could be put on the table in negotiating a settlement, and could be used to make more land fertile and green and habitable for all people of the region. If applied right renewable energy could eliminate all need for fossil fuel in Isreal and thus all need to participate in conflicts for or politics related to it. Thus once again the Sun enables life, let’s let it..
West-East makes much more sense then South North..
This blog is atheist, but the project member suggested the below..