Lebanon’s energy sector is characterised by a significant supply-demand imbalance, high generation costs and a lack of financial sustainability. Most importantly, the current installed capacity is almost entirely dependent on fuel oil. In this context, Alternative energy can make huge contribution to Lebanon’s power sector, increasing the reliability of the power supply and decreasing the heavy reliance on fuel imports.
Lebanon’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan 2016-2021 is targeting 12 percent alternative energy in the national energy mix by the year 2021 and waste-to-energy is expected to play a key role in achieving this target. The waste-to-energy potential in Lebanon is conservatively estimated to be more 150MW.
Lebanon has attractive solar potential with a yearly Direct Normal Irradiation (DNI) exceeding 2100 kWh/m2. Many areas have DNA of more than 2,100 kWh/m2 /y, which is ideal for CSP. For example, Hermel has a DNI of 2,445 kWh/m2 /y, more than Seville in Spain. However, solar energy currently contributes less than 1 percent to the national energy mix.
Likewise, Lebanon has very wind energy potential, especially onshore wind. Lebanon’s potential onshore wind power capacity has been estimated at 6.1 GW. Hydropower is the most established renewable energy resource in Lebanon and contributes to around 4.5% of the energy mix with a nominal capacity of 280 MW.
Lebanon is steadily realising its renewable energy potential and aims to build on its current small-scale decentralised renewable energy projects to meet specific targets by 2021. These targets amount to a total installed capacity of 150 MW for solar PV farms, 200 MW for onshore wind and 50 MW for CSP. Notably, Lebanon has adopted the net metering scheme for wind and solar, which is held and regulated by Electricité du Liban (EDL), the electric utility.