From: The "Green Knesset" Project
Published March 30, 2015 11:33 AM

Knesset unveils huge solar field installed on its roofs

Knesset Speaker Edelstein: "It is not just the solar panels; it is the message, the idea and the new path." Director-General Ronen Plot, who is spearheading the Green Knesset Project, receives certificate of appreciation from the Speaker

The Knesset unveiled on Sunday the largest solar field of any parliament in the world. During the festive dedication ceremony, which was held on a balcony located near one of the Knesset's roofs, Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein said, "What is happening before our very eyes is indeed exciting, a true revolution. It is not just the solar panels; it is the message, the idea, the new path. This is not merely a revolution in energy-saving; it is also a turning point with regards to the environmental awareness revolution that we have been promoting over the past two years."

"The installment of the solar panels, the highlight of the Green Knesset Project, will bring about the optimal use of solar energy, which, thank God, we have here in abundance, and will lead – along with the other [energy-saving] measures we have taken – to major savings in the consumption of electricity – which constitutes a third of the Knesset's total energy consumption," Edelstein told those on hand.

"This saving of energy has far-reaching environmental implications, not only in the direct economic sense, but also in the sense that it will dramatically reduce the harm caused to the environment," the Speaker stated. 

"We are at the beginning of the initiative, rather than at its end, but this is undoubtedly an important turning point, in which we can look back with satisfaction at everything that has been done with great success. I wish to thank you all very much, and I hope to see the Knesset many years from now leading the green revolution while serving as an example of vision and inspiration for organizations, parliaments around the world, government offices and every citizen."

TV personality Avri Gilad, who hosted the event, said the solar array presents a new opportunity to "enter the heart, imagination and creativity of each and every citizen in the country, particularly teenagers."

"The Knesset," Gilad continued," has a garden, a large roof, and employees with a big heart – all of the things that are needed in order to turn it into the greenest place in Israel. Turning the Knesset into a model of environmental creativity and the saving of resources is an uplifting idea. I envision in the near future busloads of tourists arriving at the Knesset and taking the green tour, and in my dreams I see groups of excited children coming to the Knesset to witness the green revolution. We can see how a parliament can change an entire country. I hope the green will trickle down from the roof into the committee rooms and the plenum and also influence the parliamentary activity."

Naor Yerushalmi, CEO of the Life and Environment organization, said "Yesterday, Earth Hour was marked all over the world. Two days prior to that we all moved to Summer Time - which saves energy - and here we are today, taking another step together on the way to sustainability, and mainly towards what we will leave for future generations. Environmental protection is not a luxury. We must preserve it, for ourselves and for the next generations. The new government will face many challenges, and dealing with the environmental challenges in Israel is one of them."

"It is wonderful to find out that less than a year after the Knesset received the Green Globe award, most of the promises have been fulfilled. This is true environmental leadership. I hope the leadership you have displayed here in the Knesset will encourage others, mainly the new government, [to follow suit]," he said.

"I hope this solar roof will serve as a green beacon of environmental activity for the entire public in Israel and for the new Knesset members," Yerushalmi added.

During the ceremony, Knesset Speaker Edelstein and Director-General Ronen Plot handed out certificates of appreciation to MK Dov Khenin and members of the outgoing Knesset Nitzan Horowitz and Zvulun Kalfa for their environmental activity during the 19th Knesset. Certificates were also given to Director-General Plot - who is spearheading the Green Knesset Project – as well as to Samuel Chayen - sustainability coordinator for the Green Knesset Project – and Nir Nakdimon, deputy-director of the Knesset Construction and Maintenance Department.  

Click here for more information about the solar array and the Green Knesset Project.

See more about the project on YouTube.

Contact Info: Knesset Spokesman Yotam Yakir: 050-6230007
Lior Rotem, Knesset Spokeperson's Office: 050-6200143
Dr. Samuel Chayen,  "Green Knesset" Sustainability Coordinator: 050-6230457

Website : The "Green Knesset" Project

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