Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Lebanon Issues 11 Licenses for Small-scale Solar Power Projects

Lebanon Issues 11 Licenses for Small-scale Solar Power Projects

Thursday, 12 May, 2022 - 15:00
Solar panels are seen at the Desert Stateline project near Nipton, California, US August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Bridget Bennett

The Lebanese government has issued licenses to 11 companies to construct solar power plants capable of producing 15 megawatts each, energy minister Walid Fayyad said on Thursday at a news briefing.

The companies, which include both local and international firms, would have a year to secure funding, the minister said.

The stations would only partly contribute to Lebanon's energy demands, which exceed 3,000 MW, Reuters reported.

Fayyad said their construction would be a "good sign" to an international community that has been asking Lebanon to reform its energy sector. The sector has widened the country's public debt by tens of billions of dollars.

Lebanon suffers chronic power outages and the economic crisis left Lebanon's government unable to operate its power plants or subsidize fuel imports for private operators.

Solar production would cost between 3.6 and 5.7 cents per kilowatt hour, Fayyad said, compared to the 10 to 15 cent cost of production via fuel.

The minister said he would travel to Syria on Sunday to iron out a deal to import Egyptian gas and Jordanian electricity via Syria, in a project backed by the US and with World Bank financing.

Editor Picks