Agriculture for Food Security and Renewable Energy

The combination of renewable energy with food production has the potential to increase food security by enabling more production at lower prices.

Food security means that all people at all times have physical & economic access to adequate amounts of nutritious, safe, and appropriate foods, which are produced in an environmentally sustainable and socially just manner.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that by 2050, a 70 percent increase in current food production will be necessary to meet the expanding demand for food.

At the present time, the food sector contributes over 20 percent of total greenhouse gases emissions. The challenge facing the world regarding food production is how to develop food systems that are not reliant on fossil fuel and that produce fewer greenhouse gases emissions.

Renewable energy systems reduce the food sector's dependence on fossil fuels and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The combination of renewable energy with food production has the potential to increase food security by enabling more production at lower prices.

Renewable energy sources include hot water sources, wind energy, solar energy, hydroelectric power, bioenergy and geothermal energy.

KKL-JNF for Renewable Energy

Many of Israel's renewable energy projects are concentrated in the Eilot Region in the Southern Arava, and many of them are supported by KKL-JNF. The weather and constant sunshine make this a perfect area for developing alternative energy sources and the regional council envisions a renewable energy "silicon valley" in the Southern Arava. The area has the highest concentration of solar energy fields in Israel as well as several laboratories studying alternative energy options.

KKL-JNF and its partners have developed the Regional Center for Renewable Energy Research & Development. The center brings scientists in the field together and hopes to attract additional experts to the area. As with so many KKL-JNF development projects, the Regional Center for Renewable Energy R&D will provide jobs and boost the local economy.

The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies is located in Kibbutz Ketura in the Arava Desert and offers innovative environmental studies programs. KKL-JNF finances scholarships for Jewish and Arab students from all over the Middle East at the Arava Institute. 

In addition, KKL-JNF is involved in other alternative energy projects in the region, including a wind farm at Ma'ale Shaharut, environmental construction at Lotan, Ketura and Ne'ot Smadar and an ecological village at Ketura. With the scarcity of large tracts of land on which to operate solar energy plants, KKL-JNF plans to float solar panels on its water reservoirs. In addition to generating energy, these panels will also save water by reducing evaporation. Furthermore, the water surface of the reservoirs can be harnessed to produce alternative energy.