Marketing renewable energy through geopolitics: Solar farms in Israel

Itay Fischhendler, Daniel Nathan, Dror Boymel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Renewable energy technology (RET) currently faces many barriers that hinder its effective integration into established energy systems. As a result, various advocacy mechanisms are often needed to market RET effectively, including the expression of geopolitical benefits associated with RET development, a tactic that is said to elevate the strategic power position of RET within the energy politics game. However, no studies examine how, when, and by whom geopo-litical argumentation is constructed for marketing RET. This article addresses this research gap by examining publicized planning and parliamentarian protocols on the promotion of solar energy in the Israeli Negev Desert from 2001 through 2012. The analysis finds that RET is marketed through geopolitics as an enhancement of energy independence and as a platform for regional cooperation. Geopolitics was voiced mostly in political venues by politicians, after external and internal contextual events that hindered RET development. Many linguistic devices, such as narratives and simple binary relations, were used to justify the potential geopolitical benefits of RET to decision-makers, often through rhetoric grounded in power, ideology, and geography.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)98-120
Number of pages23
JournalGlobal Environmental Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 5 May 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


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