Mohamad Mneimneh, founder of Mashriq Energy, a company providing turnkey solar photovoltaic solutions, described how there are some solar initiatives at the community level.
However, such projects require several permits and coordination between many different stakeholders, while red tape and the lack of a distribution system hinder their development, he added.
Mashriq Energy recently won a tender worth about $400,000 to build a photovoltaic-diesel (PVD) hybrid system to supply the campus of the Beirut Arab University. Technicians are installing 920 solar panels that will cover from 20% to 40% of the campus’ total energy requirement.
Unlike traditional solar energy systems, Mneimneh said, PVD systems don’t necessarily require the use of batteries as solar energy taken from panels is used in combination with diesel generators.
“Large energy consumers can’t afford to have only a solar energy system, because this would require so many solar panels and batteries. Instead, PVD systems are attractive because they don’t need batteries, which cost from $600, and you would need more than one,” Mneimneh said.
Although Lebanon has yet to come up with a feasible plan to boost energy production using renewable sources, it has adopted an ambitious target to cover 30% of its energy consumption from renewables by 2030.
According to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), “Lebanon could realistically and cost-effectively obtain 30% of its electricity supply from renewables by 2030.” But it added that for this to become reality, however, the government would need to implement existing plans and policies, which are already in the pipeline.