Solar panels
Solar panels on a roof. Photo by David Bachar
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The cabinet is expected to approve a new national master plan on Sunday that would significantly expand opportunities to set up solar-powered facilities to generate electricity.

Under the plan, photovoltaic technology would be allowed on building roofs, including the roofs of parking garages, and on land next to residential areas in agricultural areas. Photovoltaic generation converts the sun's rays into electricity that can be fed into the national electricity grid.

Previous cabinet resolutions had set a target of generating a tenth of Israel's electricity production by 2020 using renewable energy sources. Currently the figure is at less than half a percent. The new master plan follows complaints about planning delays that some officials at the National Infrastructure Ministry argued made it difficult to advance solar energy projects.

Environmental groups have welcomed the prospect of installing solar energy facilities on the roofs of existing buildings rather than in large open-air solar energy farms.