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Ensuring a sufficient supply of energy, particularly electricity, to meet the ever-greater demands of a booming Israeli economy is a national concern. Israel began to introduce natural gas into its energy mix only in 2004. This report examines strategic alternatives available to Israel to make greater use of domestic and imported sources of natural gas. It explores both natural gas-utilization and supply-infrastructure strategies in an environment characterized by extreme uncertainty and potentially large consequences. It provides a detailed understanding of what are favorable future environments for Israel and, perhaps more importantly, what factors would lead to futures that are undesirable in light of Israel's goals and interests. It demonstrates what actions and means would be to Israel's greatest advantage in achieving an energy future that reduces its exposure to vulnerabilities and risks. The study applies an innovative, quantitative robust decisionmaking (RDM) approach to the question of how large a role natural gas should play in Israel. Rather than relying on the typical planning method of trying to develop plans around a small number of “most likely” scenarios, RDM helps planners discover strategies that are robust — i.e., strategies that perform well across a large range of plausible futures. Given an unpredictable future, RDM is used to examine the available alternatives and ask which would be best to choose.

The research described in this report was supported by the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation and was conducted under the auspices of the Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program within RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment.

This report is part of the RAND technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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