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US and Israeli Energy Ministers sign updated agreement

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, and the US Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz, have signed an amendment to an existing agreement between the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructure that will further enhance cooperation between the two countries.

“Today, our nations further solidified our ongoing cooperation,” said US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “The US and Israel will continue to foster research and development, drive down the costs of clean energy technologies and encourage collaboration between our nations' top energy scientists." Minister Steinitz said, "I am certain that cooperation in the energy sector will expand in the years to come,” he continued, “I thank Secretary Moniz for the friendship and cooperation. The US is Israel’s greatest friend, and we appreciate this friendship".

The agreement expands cooperative efforts between the parties for exploration, production, and distribution technologies for fossil and alternative fuels; research and development for natural gas, transmission, distribution, and smart grid technologies; water desalination and treatment facilities; and physical and cyber protection of energy and water infrastructure. The agreement also recognises the importance of developing advanced energy and water technologies to secure water and power supplies while protecting the environment and increasing energy efficiency within the two countries.

The agreement follows legislation and support from the energy ministries of both countries to continue funding programmes implemented by the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation and Israel – US Binational Science Foundation (BSF) through 2024. The agreement additionally encourages collaboration between Israeli energy researchers at US Department of Energy National Laboratories.

Following the signing of the new US – Israel agreement on energy cooperation, Secretary Moniz and Minister Steinitz continued discussions from their September 2015 visit on various topics including natural gas, cyber protection of energy infrastructure facilities, promoting cooperation, and programmes for research and development of clean energy, power plant energy, and water treatment.

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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