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Lebanon Sees Rising Demand for Solar Energy Panels to Compensate Power Shortage

Lebanon Sees Rising Demand for Solar Energy Panels to Compensate Power Shortage

Monday, 29 March, 2021 - 10:30
Lebanon's capital, Beirut, in the dark on July 27, 2020, due to widespread electricity blackouts caused by fuel shortages in the midst of a dire economic crisis. (Getty Images)

Lebanon has witnessed a rising demand for solar panels for electricity production, in light of the continuing problems in the state’s electricity supply and the exorbitant tariffs of private generator subscriptions.

Last summer, Lebanon witnessed a severe electricity crisis, which lasted for more than a month, during which the state’s electricity was rationed for 20 hours per day, even in the capital Beirut. Vital sectors were threatened by the power cuts, such as communications and hospitals.

The cost of installing a 5-amp solar energy unit starts at USD 3,000 but the price varies according to the raw materials used and the hours of power required.

Jessica Obeid, a consultant on energy policies, said recent years have witnessed a demand for solar energy by factories and companies in particular, with the aim of reducing the cost of electricity.

But this demand has remarkably increased among individuals and companies alike, in anticipation of the fuel crisis and the rise of prices of diesel and fuel, especially if Lebanon’s Central Bank (BDL), lifted its subsidies on fuel with the depletion of its foreign currency reserves.

Obeid stressed the need to support such projects, because they would alleviate the citizens’ burden amid the stifling economic and financial crisis. She added that increasing the percentage of dependence on solar energy would reduce the demand on the state electricity network, which would decrease electricity production costs and fuel imports.

The parliament approved on Monday a loan of $200 million to pay for fuel for the state electricity company after a warning by the energy ministry that cash had run out for electricity generation beyond the end of the month.

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