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A Strategic Analysis of National Electricity Generation Alternatives: A Perspective from the Future

Author(s): Adi Wolfson, Ofira Ayalon, Alon Tal

Climate change and energy policies raise complex issues about intergenerational justice. We conducted a (SWOT) analysis with the objective of evaluating the Israeli strategy for development and prioritization of natural gas (NG) versus renewable energy (RE) options, focusing on the impacts on current and future generations. Unlike the traditional SWOT evaluation, our analysis proceeds in two stages where the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the current generation are characterized and then a parallel evaluation made for future generations. The severity of the anticipated climate emergency affects many of the components within the parallel SWOT assessments, with several current strengths becoming weaknesses and opportunities transformed into threats for future generations. In analyzing the results, we show the dominant role that inter-generational justice should play in determining a local optimal, energy strategy. While NG holds impressive advantages in the short-term, once long-term considerations and the impact on future generations are considered, NG’s inferiority as a centerpiece of future energy strategy becomes apparent. These dynamics are particularly germane in the case of Israel, which, in recent years, has begun to develop its copious off-shore reserves of NG in the Mediterranean Sea.

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