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University of Balamand > News > Archive > Renewable Energy in Lebanon

Dr. Joseph Al Assad addressing faculty and students in Fares 119

Renewable Energy in Lebanon

Cheaper electricity, less pollution and a more sustainable environment were the three main issues discussed by representatives of the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC), during the two-day seminar on renewable energy at the University of Balamand on April 24 and April 30.

The event, hosted by the Mechatronics department at the University, showcased an overview of LCEC initiatives in Lebanon, a discussion on the solar market, a road map to renewable energy, and energy efficiency policies.

Mr. Elie Abou Jaoudeh, an engineer at LCEC, focused on systems, such as solar heating, to cut costs and save energy, saying, “We need good technicians and engineers in each company to install solar heating systems.”

In turn, Mr. Pierre El Khoury, acting project manager at LCEC, discussed renewable energy and energy efficiency policies in Lebanon stating that “Lebanon faced an increase in the demand and the consumption of oil,” adding that in 2013, “our national energy bill reached 4 billion dollars.”

According to Mr. El Khoury, most of the electricity in Lebanon comes from oil, natural gas and hydropower. “Hydropower used to be 70% of our electricity production in 1975. Unfortunately, today, only 5% of our electricity comes from renewable energy,” he said.

Nevertheless, Mr. El Khoury was optimistic, adding that in 2010, the Lebanese government adopted a policy paper for the electricity sector that sets targets for renewable energy. “Based on this policy paper,” Mr. El Khoury said, “We developed the national energy efficiency action plan.”

One of the goals set forth was the need to improve the management of EDL (Electricite du Liban). For Mr. El Khoury, this is important as it reduces subsidies by the government.

In addition, the initiative aims to save energy in the electricity sector and reduce CO2 omissions in Lebanon.

A major way LCEC hopes to achieve this is through the Global Solar Water Heating Program, a venture that saw a collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Solar water heaters, Mr. El Khoury explained, “Can reduce cost, pollution, and electricity, which is a win-win cycle.”

At the second meeting, on April 30, Mr. Rani Al Achkar presented an overview of LCEC activities in Lebanon.

He explained that the LECE is a hub for renewable energy initiatives. Mr. Al Achkar highlighted the aims of the agency, which include, “Energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy.”

The projects of LECE include awareness campaigns, 3 million lamps replacement program, and energy efficient street lighting where the organization upgraded public street lighting control systems.

The LECE also developed a decentralized solar photovoltaic system that allows for net metering and storageof excess energy.“Our ultimate goal is to make the energy audit mandatory and we are aiming to boost the photovoltaic market in Lebanon,” said Mr. Al Achkar.

Meanwhile, Dr. Joseph Al Assad, an Energy Consultant at the Ministry of Energy and Water addressed the target of being reliant on 12% renewable energy by 2020.

“In order to reach our goals,” said Dr. Al Assad, “We need an action plan that will cover the objectives and political aspects of the renewable energy strategy.”

The plan includes an assessment of the different renewable energy resources in Lebanon along with economic resources, financing modalities, grid code, and social impacts of renewable energy.

According to Dr. Al Assad, “There is a possibility of having three wind farms in Lebanon If we have the political commitment." ​​​​​​​​
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