Israel is a relatively small country located in the Middle East on the Mediterranean coast. In the east, Israel has a long land border with Jordan, and in the south it has access to the Red Sea. In terms of size, Israel is 152nd in the world . In terms of population density Israel is 29th in the world, with an average density of 431 people per 1 km2 . The length of the country’s coastline is 273 km . According to 2022 statistics, the country is home to around 8.9 million people . The administrative map of Israel is divided into 6 districts, the official language is Hebrew, and the political form of government is parliamentary democracy .
Israel’s economy is highly advanced free market economy. Export of cut diamonds, high-tech equipment and pharmaceuticals makes up the large share of the volume of GDP .
1. GDP (purchasing power parity), 2020 est. / The World Factbook/Library/Central Intelligence Agency *228
2. GDP - per capita (PPP), 2020 / The World Factbook/Library/Central Intelligence Agency *229
3. Inflation rate (consumer prices), 2019 est. / The World Factbook/Library/Central Intelligence Agency *228
4. Charges for the use of intellectual property, receipts (BoP, current US$), 2020 / International Monetary Fund, Balance of Payments Statistics Yearbook, and data files. / License: CC BY-4.0 *88
5. The Global Competitiveness Index 2019 / Rankings / Reports / World Economic Forum *141
6. High-technology exports (current US$) 2019-2020 / United Nations, Comtrade database through the WITS platform / License: CCBY-4.0 / Data *134
7. 2021 Index of Economic Freedom / International Economies / The Heritage Foundation *178
8. Reserves of foreign exchange and gold, 2017 est. / The World Factbook / Library / Central Intelligence Agency *195
9. Annual average GDP growth in %, for the last 10 years (2011-2020) / World Bank national accounts data, and OECD National Accounts data files / License: CC BY-4.0 *206
10. Public debt (% of GDP), 2017 est. / The World Factbook / Library / Central Intelligence Agency (from smallest to largest) *210
* Total number of countries participating in ranking
Figure 1. Economic Indices of Israel
Economic indices of Israel are shown on the Figure 1, and the majority of indicators are in the upper part of the chart, indicating a high level of economic development of the country.
Between 2009 and 2018 the country experienced a steady growth of GDP at purchasing power parity, both in general and per capita [4,5]. In 2020 GDP at PPP was 353.39 billion dollars (50th in the world) . GDP at purchasing power parity per capita is at the same level (47th in 2020), although it has been demonstrating positive dynamics: from $35,200 in 2015 to $38,300 in 2020 . Inflation in Israel in 2020 was at 1.8%, an increase of 1% compared to 0.8% in 2018 .
According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2019, presented by the World Economic Forum, Israel is 20th, from an estimated total of 141 countries. This rating reflects the effectiveness of the use of the country’s own resources for sustainable development. In addition to numerous economic indicators this index also takes into account such variables as education, health, level of innovation, etc. In 2015, Israel was 31st in the world in terms of the market value of publicly traded shares.
In the ranking of countries according to the level of export of high-technology products in 2019-2020, Israel was 28th out of 134 countries. In terms of gold reserves and foreign exchange reserves in 2017 Israel was 15th in the world.
According to the Index of Economic Freedom in 2021, which is based on business freedom, freedom from government action, protection of property, and freedom from corruption, Israel was 26th, ahead of a number of both Asian and European economically advanced countries.
According to the indicator for the average GDP growth in percentage over the last 10 years (2011 - 2020), in 2020 the country was 78th out of 206 countries. In terms of public debt, calculated as a percentage of the country's GDP, Israel was ranked 45th out of 210 countries considered in 2017.
The most valuable and energy-rich fossil fuel in Israel is natural gas (Table. 1). Due to the recent discovery of gas deposits on the shelf of the Mediterranean Sea, Israel has become one of the key gas players along with Bangladesh and the United Kingdom .
In terms of tons of oil equivalent, proved reserves of conventional hydrocarbons in Israel are: natural gas – 98.9%, oil – 1.1% (Figure 5).
Natural gas reserves, according to , amount to 176 Bcm in 2018, and according to the BP report, in 2020 they were 0.6 Tcf .
Table 1. Fossil energy resources of Israel
|Crude oil||Natural gas||Coal||Oil Shale*||Tight Oil||Coal mine methane||Extra Heavy Oil|
|Value||12.73||176||no data||4||no data||no data||no data|
*in place resources
Proved crude oil reserves in the country were estimated at 12.73 million bbl in 2018 . There are also small oil shale (kerogen oil) reserves found in Israel — 4 billion bbl, according to .
In Israel, there is a certain potential for the development of some types of renewable energy. A selection of basic indicators of this type of resource is presented in Table 2.
The level of global solar radiation in Israel is relatively high in the southern part of the country. The highest level of solar radiation level can be observed near the city of Eilat – over 6.2 kWh/m2/day. In the central part of the country the level of global solar radiation drops from 5.7 to <5.5 kWh/m2/day. In the north of the country these figures are even lower .
The distribution of wind resources is as follows: in the north and in the central part of the country the average annual wind speed is below 6 m/sec . The maximum registered wind speed was in the southern part of the country, where it may exceed 7.0 m/sec (at a height of 50 m.) .
Table 2. Renewable energy resources of Israel
|Unit||kWh/m2/day||m/s||-||% of land area||% of land area||kg/per capita/day|
*for most of the territory of the country
**gross theoretical hydropower potential
About 7.1% of Israel is forested with 23.8% covered by agricultural land [10,11].
This energy review of Israel would not be complete without mentioning municipal waste (2.12 kg per capita per day), which in many countries has become a significant source of energy .
Primary energy consumption in Israel in 2020 was at the level of 1.05 Exajoules, dominated by oil – 40%, natural gas – 39%, coal – 16% and renewable energy – 5% .
Israel’s oil and condensate production has negligible for the last decade . Oil consumption in the country has been relatively stable, reaching its peak of 296 thousand bbl/day in 2012, and dropping slightly to 203 thousand bbl/day in 2020 (Figure 2) . In 2020 crude oil consumption was at the level of 213 thousand bbl/day . Crude oil imports in 2017 were 231 600 thousand bbl/day .
Production of natural gas since 2012 has rapidly increased, having undergone a serious change from 48 Bcf in 2012 to 347 Bcf in 2017 and 370 Bcf in 2019 . Natural gas consumption showed the same trend, reaching 180 Bcf in 2013, compared to 52 Bcf in 2012, in 2017 it reached the level of 353 Bcf and 333 Bcf in 2019 . According to BP natural gas consumption amounted to 11.3 Bcm in 2020 . Natural gas imports to Israel were 509.7 million cubic meters in 2017 .
Coal consumption in Israel remained has declined over the last decade and in 2020 reached a level of 5.61 million short tons .
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration (Dec 2021) / www.eia.gov
Figure 2. The production and consumption of fossil fuels in Saudi Arabia (left – coal, in the center – gas, right – oil)
Israel has a relatively high share of conventional resources in the production of electricity (Fig. 3.) According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (Fig.6) in 2020, the country produced about 68.51 TWh of electricity, of which 93.7% was by thermal power plants and 6.3% by other renewable energy sources.
Figure 3. Electricity production in Israel
Israel’s position in the comparative diagram of energy index is shown in Figure 4. The first six indices based on reserves of fossil fuels and export opportunities, with the exception of gas, are located at the bottom of the chart.
In terms of the share of electricity production from renewable energy sources (excluding hydropower), Israel is 106th among 170 countries selected for consideration.
1. Crude oil proved reserves, 2021 / International Energy Statistic/Geography / U.S. Energy Information Administration (Nov 2021)*98
2. Natural gas proved reserves 2021 / International Energy Statistic / Geography / U.S. Energy Information Administration (Nov 2021) *99
3. Total recoverable coal reserves 2019 / International Energy Statistic / Geography / U.S. Energy Information Administration (Nov 2021) *81
4. Combination production-consumption for Crude oil 2018 / International Energy Statistic / Geography / U.S. Energy Information Administration (Nov 2021) *219
5. Combination production-consumption for Natural gas 2019 / International Energy Statistic / Geography / U.S. Energy Information Administration (Nov 2021) *123
6. Combination production-consumption for Coal 2019 / International Energy Statistic / Geography / U.S. Energy Information Administration (Nov 2021) *128
7. Electricity – from other renewable sources (% of total installed capacity), 2017 est. / The World Factbook / Library / Central Intelligence Agency *170
8. GDP per unit of energy use (PPP per unit of oil equivalent), 2020 *66
Primary energy consumption - BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2021/BP;GDP (purchasing power parity) - The World Factbook/Library/Central Intelligence Agency
9. Energy use (primary energy use of oil equivalent per capita) 2020 *127
Primary energy consumption – BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2021; Population - United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs,
Population Division (2019). World Population Prospects 2019, custom data acquired via website. Retrieved 15 November 2021*66
10. The Global Energy Architecture Performance Index Report (EAPI) 2017 / Rankings / Reports / World Economic Forum
11. Electric power consumption (kWh per capita), 2016 *217
Electricity Consumption - The World Factbook / Library / Central Intelligence Agency; Population - United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs,
Population Division (2019). World Population Prospects 2019, custom data acquired via website. Retrieved 15 November 2021
12. Combination of electricity production-consumption (kWh)/The World Factbook/Library/Central Intelligence Agency *216
* Total number of countries participating in ranking
Figure 4. Energy indices of Israel
In the EAPI (Energy Architecture Performance Index) 2017, which is based first on the level of economic growth, environmental safety, and energy independence of the country, including access to energy, Israel is 51st out of 127 countries considered, behind Canada and South Korea, but ahead of Russia, USA. However, it should be noted that during the last 8 years the country has lost 5 ranking positions.
When considering the GDP per unit of energy use, Israel is 17th out of 66 countries surveyed, which is slightly above the world average, while energy consumption per capita is slightly lower – 31st out of 66 countries. In terms of electricity consumption per capita, the country is 37th in the world, however, for the indicator of combination of electricity production-consumption, Israel is 41st in the ranked list of 216 countries.
A territorial map of the distribution of the largest infrastructure projects of the fossil fuel sector in Israel is shown in Figure 5.
As mentioned above, the natural gas reserves amount to about 99% of the energy potential of mineral resources. The main natural extraction fields are located offshore. According to  the largest gas field, Tamar, has reserves estimated at 10 Tcf.
Figure 5. Basic infrastructural facilities of the fossil fuel sector in Israel
The Petroleum industry in Israel is represented by two refineries – The Haifa Refinery with a capacity of 197,000 bpd and The Ashdod Refinery with a capacity of 100,000 bpd [16,17]. The unique geographical location of Israel with two exits to the sea and two marine terminals, is supported by the pipeline infrastructure that combines these important strategic points. The pipeline system connects the oil terminals in Eilat and Ashkelon, as well as the oil refineries in Haifa and Ashdod. Two storage tanks with a total capacity of 3.7 million cubic meters ensure reliable operation of the oil sector of the country . LNG terminal Hadera Deepwater is located 10 km from the coastline of Israel, allowing the country to annually import 2.5 billion m3 of natural gas .
Figure 6 shows the most important facilities in Israel producing electrical energy.
Figure 6. Electricity production in Israel
As previously mentioned, electricity production in Israel relies heavily on fossil resources, such as coal and gas. There are 13 thermal power plants with a capacity of over 100 MW, 11 of which operate on gas.
The largest coal-fired plant is Orot Rabin, with a capacity of 2590 MW . The largest gas power plant is Eshkol, with a capacity of 1449 MW . There is one pumped storage plant under construction in Israel — Ma‘ale Gilboa 300 MW .
In Figure 7, you can see the main facilities for the production of energy from renewable resources in Israel.
As noted above, renewable energy in Israel, has no decisive influence on the production of the main types of energy. Thus, the total production of electricity in 2020 from renewable sources, was 4.29 TWh, and was dominated by solar PV, followed by bioenergy and wind energy (Figure 7).
Figure 7. Renewable energy in Israel
The level of solar radiation in the southern part of the country can reach 6.2 kWh/m2 per day, and the wind speed exceeds 7 m/s, which is a tangible resource for energy production. As a consequence, there is a large number of renewable energy facilities located in the area. The largest solar station is under construction, Zeélim solar power plant will have an installed capacity of 120 MW, and largest wind Ma‘ale Gilboa has a capacity of 11.9 MW [23,24]. There is one installed CSP tower type with thermal storage — SEDC Rotem 6 MWth  , and one large plant Ashalim CSP 121 MW is under construction .
Bioenergy has been actively developing in Israel, and as of 2020 its capacity was estimated at 26 MW. Nationwide, there are enterprises for biomass and biogas production. WWTP manages the largest biogas plant Shafdan, that treats about 370 000 m3/day of wastewater . Key biomass plant is Galam uses about 25 thousand tons of woodchips a year . Landfill gas enterprise Dudaim, with an installed capacity of 2.2 MW is synchronized to the national grid .
Regarding the energy policy, the Israeli government has set a target to reduce CO2 emissions per capita to 7.7 tons by 2030. To achieve this aim the government has established three main goals: to reduce electricity consumption by 17%, private vehicles by 20%, to increase the share of renewable energy in electricity consumption by 17% .
The set of indices reflecting the position of Israel among other countries in the field of education and innovation can be seen in Figure 8.
Figure 8 shows the indices that have an indirect impact on the energy sector, but largely determine its future in the country. Israel is ranked 15th out of 132 member countries according to the Global Innovation Index ranking of 2021, behind Germany, the U.S. and the UK.
The country has high levels of public funding for research, development of science and education in general. As a consequence, in the QS University Rating, Israeli universities are regarded very high.
It also has relatively high indexes associated with the assessment of the number of publications in scientific and technological journals. As such, in the Scimago ranking, Israel is 25th out of 240 participating countries, and in the ranking of Scientific and Journal Activities it is 33rd out of 197 countries.
According to the number of patents granted to residents of Israel, both inside the country and abroad, the country ranks 18th in the world. Similarly, by the number of valid patents, the country is 35th in the world, which largely characterizes the country's patent attractiveness.
In the field of extraction and processing of unconventional oil, the leaders in patenting among Israeli companies are IDE Technologies Ltd, Solex Water Ltd, Ormat Industries Ltd.
Research and development in this field is carried out by the Geological Survey of Israel and Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
The leading patent holders in the field of synthetic fuel production are Yeda research and development Co., ltd., and the Engineuity Research and Development Ltd, and Weizmann Institute of Science, Technion — Israel Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv University are conducting research in this field.
Solex Water is engaged in research and development in the field of hydrocarbon production from low permeability reservoirs. Research is being conducted by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
1. The Global Innovation Index 2021, Rankings / Knowledge / World Intellectual Property Organization / Cornell University, INSEAD, and WIPO (2021):
Energizing the World with Innovation. Ithaca, Fontainebleau, and Geneva *132
2. Patent Grants 2011-2020, resident & abroad / Statistical country profiles / World Intellectual Property Organization *185
3.Patents in Force 2020 / Statistical country profiles / World Intellectual Property Organization *109
4. QS World University Rankings 2022 *97
5. SCImago Country Rankings (1996-2020) / Country rankings / SCImago, (n.d.). SIR-SCImago Journal & Country Rank [Portal]. Retrieved 17 Nov 2021 *240
6. Internet users in 2018 / The World Factbook / Central Intelligence Agency *229
7. Internet users in 2018 (% Population) / The World Factbook / Central Intelligence Agency *229
8. Government expenditure on education, total (% of GDP), 2019 / United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics.
License: CCBY-4.0 / Data as of September 2021*177
9. Research and development expenditure (% of GDP), 2018 / UNESCO Institute for Statistics. License: CCBY-4.0 / Data *119
10. Scientific and technical journal articles, 2018 / National Science Foundation, Science and Engineering Indicators. License: CCBY-4.0 / Data *197
* Total number of countries participating in ranking
Figure 8. The indices of education and innovation in Israel
Another area where Israeli companies actively conduct research is the exploration of gas hydrates, where Technion — Israel Institute of Technology and Bar-Ilan University have the largest number of publications.
The leading patent holders in the field of bioenergy are Trans Biodiesel Ltd., Ecogas Israel Ltd., Yeda Research and Development Co., Ltd and SGT Sustainable Green Technologies Ltd. Bar-Ilan University, Weizmann Institute of Science and Technion — Israel Institute of Technology conduct research in this field.
A large number of Israeli companies patent technical solutions in the field of energy production from renewable sources. In the field of solar energy Siemens Concentrated Power, Ltd., Brightsource Industries (Israel) Ltd and Yeda research and Development Co., Ltd., have the largest number of patents. Leading research organizations in this field are Tel Aviv University and Weizmann University. Birdsvision Ltd are ahead in the number of patents in the field of wind power; research in this field is being conducted by Technion — Israel Institute of Technology and the Tel Aviv University.
A diagram of environmental indices is shown in Figure 9.
The indices shown in the diagram to a certain extent reflect the environmental situation in the country. First of all Israel demonstrates high level of CO2 emissions, both in general and per capita. However, the situation brightens by the fact that Israel is not a member of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), which consists of 60 countries responsible for more than 90% of global CO2 emissions related to energy.
According to the forest area as a percentage of land area, Israel is not among the world leaders, but the trend associated with its change looks positive. In this ranking Israel is 189th out of 234 countries. Israel also has a relatively high valuation in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2020, and is 29th out of 180 participating countries. This index primarily focuses on the environmental performance of national governments aimed at reducing the negative impact of the environment and rational use of natural resources.
1. CO2 total emission by countries 2020 / European Commission / Joint Research Centre (JRC) / Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR)*208
2. CO2 per capita emission 2020/European Commission/Joint Research Centre (JRC) / Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) *208
3. Forest area 2020 (% of land area) / The Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 / Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations *234
4. Forest area change 2010-2020 (1000 ha/year) / The Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 / Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations *234
5. The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2020 / Rankings / Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy / Yale University *180
6. Annual freshwater withdrawals (m3 per capita), 2017 *179
Annual freshwater withdrawals, total (billion m3), 2017 – Food and Agriculture Organization, AQUASTAT data. /License: CC BY-4.0;
Population – United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2019).
World Population Prospects 2019, custom data acquired via website. Retrieved 15 November 2021
7. The National Footprint Accounts 2017 (Biocapacity Credit / Deficit) / Global Footprint Network *188
8. Methane emissions (kt of CO2 equivalent), 2018 / Data for up to 1990 are sourced from Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Environmental Sciences Division,
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, United States. Data from 1990 are CAIT data: Climate Watch. 2020. GHG Emissions. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.
Available at: License : Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) *191
9. The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2022 / Overall Results / Jan Burck, Thea Uhlich, Christoph Bals, Niklas Höhne, Leonardo Nascimento /
Germanwatch, NewClimate Institute & Climate Action Network *60
* Total number of countries participating in ranking
Figure 9. Environmental Indices of Israel
Israel belongs to a group of countries with very high levels of methane emissions.
The Ecological Footprint Atlas rating complements the overall negative picture, according to which Israel is among the ecological debtors.
 List of sovereign states and dependencies by area / Wikipedia / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependencies_by_area
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 Israel / The world factbook / Library / Central Intelligence Agency / https://www.cia.gov/
 GDP, PPP (constant 2011 international $) / World Bank, International Comparison Program database. License: CC BY-4.0 / Data / The World Bank / http://www.worldbank.org/
 GDP per capita, PPP (current international $)/ World Bank, International Comparison Program database. License: CC BY-4.0 / Data / The World Bank / http://www.worldbank.org/
 BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2021 (PDF) / BP / https://www.bp.com/
 2012 Survey of Energy Resources (PDF) / World Energy Council / www.worldenergy.org/
 Solar resource data obtained from the Global Solar Atlas, owned by the World Bank Group and provided by Solargis / Global Solar Atlas / http://globalsolaratlas.info/
 Wind Map / Global Wind Atlas 2.0, a free, web-based application developed, owned and operated by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in partnership with the World Bank Group, utilizing data provided by Vortex, with funding provided by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP). For additional information: https://globalwindatlas.info
 Agricultural land (% of land area) / Food and Agriculture Organization, electronic files and web site. License: CC BY-4.0 / Data / The World Bank / http://www.worldbank.org
 Forest area (% of land area) /Food and Agriculture Organization, electronic files and web site. License: CC BY-4.0 / Data / The World Bank / http://www.worldbank.org/
 World Bank What a Waste / Data / The World Bank / http://www.worldbank.org
 Israel / Geography / U.S. Energy Information Administration / https://www.eia.gov/beta/international/analysis.php
 International Energy Statistic / Geography / U.S. Energy Information Administration /http://www.eia.gov/beta/international/
 Tamar Field / Offshore Technology / http://www.offshore-technology.com/
 Haifa Refinery / A Barell Full / http://abarrelfull.wikidot.com/
 Ashdod Refinery / A Barell Full / http://abarrelfull.wikidot.com/
 Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Co. Ltd. / http://eapc.com/
 Hadera Deepwater LNG Terminal / Excelerate energy / https://excelerateenergy.com
 Orot Rabin / Wikipedia / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orot_Rabin
 Kraftwerk Eshkol / Wikipedia / https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kraftwerk_Eshkol
 Ma'ale Gilboa Pumped Storage Project / Tadmor Levy / https://tadmor.com
 Around the world with the sun / 14. November 2018 / Volkmar Held / voestalpine / https://www.voestalpine.com
 Analysis: Israel's plans to tap into wind power take shape / 30 January 2015 by Jan Dodd / Wind Power Monthly / https://www.windpowermonthly.com
 Solar Energy Development Center Project Fact Sheet (PDF) / BrightSource Energy / http://www.brightsourceenergy.com/
 Ashalim Power Station / Wikipedia / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashalim_Power_Station
 Shafdan (Greater Tel Aviv Wastewater Treatment Plant) – Recent Upgrade and Expansion / AquaEnviro / https://www.aquaenviro.co.uk/
 David Hacohen. First biomass-based steam production facility in Israel / 10/08/06 / Y Net News / https://www.ynetnews.com/
 Israeli Know-How and Adaptation Technologies for Climate Change (PDF) / Ministry of Economy of Israel / http://economy.gov.il/
 Renewable Energy Policy in Israel / Cereha / http://www.cereha.eu/
The sources of charts and curves are specified under the images.
For more information about the energy industry in Israel see here