The Good Energy Initiative: Good for You, Good for the Jew

They may still be leagues ahead of their time in Israel, but the Good Energy Initiative established by one of our favorites - the Heschel Center - is acting to offset carbon emissions.

The do-gooders are aiming to reduce greenhouse gas source production, and to support Israeli energy independence via energy efficiency and alternative technologies. The Good Energy Initiative does this by investing its revenues in non-profit social/enviro projects (see the list below). It appears to be the only active and voluntary carbon offset project in Israel.

"We are working with businesses and organizations both in Israel and abroad to number one reduce carbon production but to also offset what remains," writes Joshua Berman, a member of the initiative. "All of our projects for creating carbon credits take place here in Israel. They are certified by a third party called "Shomer Aklim (Climate Guard)."

Hazon in the US, recently chose to offset transportation costs (flights, buses, aid cars) from their famous NYC bike ride, reports Berman. The Good Energy Initiative also worked recently to offset carbon produced by a conference held by the Israeli business newspaper, The Marker.

Says Berman who is set to give a more personal interview on TreeHugger in the coming months, "I believe we are offering something very special for Jews in Israel and abroad, that is, rather than buying carbon credits which support initiatives in New Mexico, India or other developing countries, which is fine, we are giving people the opportunity to not only offset their carbon emissions but support Israel and green Israeli initiatives at the same time."

A list of offset projects provided by the Good Energy Initiative includes:

1) CFL's for Private Homes in Eilat and Eilot Southern Region.

With 95% of Israel's private homes using inefficient incandescent lamps — we reduce electricity consumption by subsidizing compact fluorescents for consumers that would never cross the initial cost barrier (tenfold). Using Heschel Center's successful projects in local/regional councils and schools — we campaign and replace light bulbs.
Certified "Shomer Aklim" Project: 500 Tons

2) De-centralized clean power production — replacing diesel power generators with PV systems in unrecognized off-grid Bedouin villages.

This project creates a multitude of social and environmental benefits in the poorest community in Israel. Bedouins produce expensive, polluting and limited electricity, while solar systems afford clean, 24-h renewable electricity. This project was certified by a renowned American offsetting institution (Climate Neutral Network).
Certified "Climate Cool" Project: 11,000 Tons

3) Biodiesel in School Buses/Forklifts.

Burning diesel fuel in school buses and commercial forklifts endangers users exposed to direct pollutants in addition to fossil GHG production. The project plans to use locally produced bio-fuel at 20%-100% blends in school bus fleets of two interested regional councils, and in forklifts of environmentally managed factories helps curb carbon emissions at 1 ton per 350 liters of fuel.
Project in certification process: 450 Tons/Year

4) Garbage Separating Squads.

By coupling unemployed teenagers/students with municipalities and contractors that transport and landfill their garbage - we reduce the waste stream and recycle energy intensive products including glass, metal, wood, cement and plastics and organics — slashing energy inputs from importing and from melting raw materials. Turning methane producing organic waste into valuable compost accounts for more carbon credits in certain cases. Carbon funding helps create the squads and prepare them for work — while ongoing funding is generated by diverting transportation and new dumping fees normally paid by contractors/municipalities from landfilling sites directly to the squads.
Project in a certified pilot phase in Northern Israel: 300 Tons

5) Organic waste separation, condense water recycling and solar electricity in a large hospital in Jerusalem.

A multiple project for reducing the general environmental footprint of the Jerusalem Hospital will divert the huge stream of already separated organic kitchen waste, re-use air-con condense water and install solar electricity on roofs, windows and car-parks. The hospital operates a system for separating office waste using mentally handicapped workers and the compost project is an expansion of this important social initiative.
Project in planning phase: Expected credit: 600 Tons/Year

6) Recycling gases and Waste Heat Recovery in 2 energy factories.

Waste heat recovery and fuel efficiency are relatively new concepts for the Israeli industry. Projects that enhance efficiency and use the waste heat for positive purposes require a kick-start, and a funding bridge. Selling carbon credits is a way of moving obviously needed action-plans into actions. We are currently planning to install an excess gas burner that would save a recycling facility 15 tons of fossil fuel/month at current capacities, and a WHR plant in a large industrial plant.
Project in planning phase: Expected credit: 4000 Tons
::Good Energy Initiative

Tags: Biodiesel | Carbon Offsets | Israel | Recycling

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