Lebanon has the potential to produce 10 times the amount of energy it’s currently producing, a study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows.
The study estimates that Lebanon has the ability to generate around 30% of its total energy needs by making use of its available renewable energy sources.
Not only is Lebanon’s energy sector in its current state very uneconomical and ineffective, but it is also very dangerous to the environment as it relies heavily on the private generators sector that exacerbates its serious air pollution problem.
And while public funds are being wasted on a failed strategy that is not even covering the country’s total energy demand, the increase in the population is challenging such strategy even further and amplifying Lebanon’s energy crisis.
By tapping into renewable energy, the crisis-hit country can greatly lower its expenses, reduce air pollution and the mortality rate it accompanies, and begin to close the ever-increasing gap between its energy demand and production.
Lebanon previously laid out several plans as part of reforming the wasteful energy sector, such as the National Renewable Energy Action Plan, that aimed to use renewable energy sources to increase the local generation of electricity and heat.
However, even though local studies confirmed that Lebanon has plenty of alternative energy sources that can be used to effectively produce 12% of basic local needs by 2020 – and 30% by 2030 – not much progress has been made in that regard.
These sources include sunlight, wind, and water, and their conversion to energy is relatively inexpensive, which means that acting on its renewable energy plans can save Lebanon over $200 million annually, according to the IRENA study, conducted in coordination with Lebanon’s Energy Ministry.
To achieve this, however, the Lebanese government – when formed, that is – will first have to deal with the current energy crisis and implement major adjustments to strategies, policies, infrastructure, and other areas, as determined by the study.