The Center for Renewable Energy
Combining the minds of 300 researchers across seven different faculties at Tel Aviv University
The field of renewable energy research strives to find new, efficient and renewable energy sources to replace finite fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal, and is considered one of the most significant challenges currently faced by humanity.
A National Scientific Mission
The world is currently in desperate need of green, environmentally friendly energy sources to bring an end to pollution and the continued destruction of our planet," says Prof. Yossi Rosenwaks, the Head of the Center for Renewable Energy at Tel Aviv University. "Renewable energy is vitally important to the State of Israel in particular from a strategic viewpoint. Being able to produce energy from clean energy sources would liberate Israel from its political and financial dependency on its neighbors' oil and natural gas supplies, in peacetime as well as during periods of conflict."
Israel's greatest asset when it comes to renewable energy is the sun. Covering just 8% of the Negev desert with photovoltaic systems – which are able to turn solar energy into electricity - would be enough to supply all of Israel's energy needs. And yet the country currently faces two obstacles in implementing this solution: the lack of technology to allow the storage of solar energy and the enormous technical adjustments that would have to be made in Israel's existing electricity infrastructure.
The Center for Renewable Energy servers as a platform as well as a supportive environment for Tel Aviv University researchers who are trying to meet these challenges by developing new technologies.
Investing in Interdisciplinary Research
TAU has 55 research groups working in the field of renewable energy, comprising over 300 researchers across seven faculties: Exact Sciences, Engineering, Life Sciences, Law, Management, Social Sciences, Humanities with many of these working within the framework of the Porter School of Environmental Studies.
This investment in renewable energy research has already shown substantial returns, with hundreds of patents filed and about a thousand scientific papers published in academic journals in the last few years. In addition to its scientific value, the technologies being developed in TAU labs also hold enormous financial potential – they could be worth billions in the constantly expanding global energy market in the next few years.
At the Center for Renewable Energy researchers from across the TAU campus find a common goal and new opportunities for collaboration. The Center holds international conventions, offers funding for selected research projects and works to recruit the finest young minds in Israel for the cause of renewable energy research.
The Center works to establish advanced laboratories in the fields of energy storage, solar energy and biomass fuel and is currently overseeing a national study on the electric car in collaboration with Bar-Ilan University. It also focuses on increasing public awareness of the need for renewable energy sources and promoting the issue in the public arena.