The Eilat-Eilot Off-Grid Hub village is located in Arava desert is South Israel
The Eilat-Eilot Off-Grid Hub village showcases clean-tech solutions for housing, energy, water and agriculture for remote and off-grid areas in any part of the world. It was built in 2014 in the fairly remote Arava desert in Israel, where the only natural resources are abundant sunlight and open spaces. Its creators are the non-profit Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and the Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Initiative, aiming to provide a testing ground for eco-minded companies and furthermore to improve the lives of people outside the grid.
The village features three solar-powered demo buildings constructed by volunteers from Kibbutz Lotan’s Eco-Building Program: a thatch-roofed communal building with innovative sources of natural light and ventilation, a straw-and-wool insulated plywood house roofed with palm leaves (for ventilation) and metal (for protection from the elements), and a dome-shaped “Earth Bag” house made with sacks of local soil. All three of them are based on existing building types found in off-grid communities and can be constructed inexpensively with locally found materials. However, a number of ‘green’ improvements have been made to them. Most of them launched by Israeli startups: the solar-powered water-purification and desalination system by SunDWater, the backyard biodigesters that convert organic waste into clean biogas for cooking, heating and lighting by HomeBioGas and the portable solar energy generator by Kalisaya. Various clean-tech companies involved in the hub can further develop their products with the assistance of researchers from Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and eventually reach communities in need of these technologies.
For the time being, the majority of the electricity used in the village -104 MW- is solar and biogas-generated in its own premises and by 2040, Eilat-Eilot could be entirely energy-independent and free of fossil-fuel and carbon emissions.
Images source: Eila-Eilot