May 15, 2024

Lebanon Harnesses Solar Power to Support Basic Services for Over 430,000 Citizens

Lisa Johnson, the United States Ambassador to Lebanon, passionately highlighted the crucial role played by solar energy farms in establishing a resilient infrastructure that actively contributes to revitalizing Lebanon's economy. Addressing the audience during the launch of a pioneering solar energy endeavor, Johnson fervently reiterated the unwavering dedication of the U.S. towards bolstering renewable energy initiatives in Lebanon.

Solar Powered Water Pumping System

The Community Support Program (CSP), spearheaded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has recently unveiled a groundbreaking solar energy endeavor in alliance with the North Lebanon Water Foundation and the Municipality of Mazraeat Altufaah.

This visionary initiative entails the meticulous installation of solar panels spanning a vast 2000-square-meter expanse. The primary mission is to establish an enduring energy solution to Solar Power a crucial water pump essential for the seamless operation of the drinking water distribution network.

The substantial financial commitment directed towards this crucial undertaking intends to offer access to safe drinking water for more than two thousand community members. It amounts to approximately $223,000 USD, graciously provided by the United States.

This pivotal initiative unfolds against the backdrop of a severe electricity crisis that has afflicted Lebanon for a prolonged period exceeding three years.

Creating Opportunities for Rural Areas

Ambassador Johnson highlighted the vital role of solar energy ventures in fostering new prospects for rural areas in Lebanon. She emphasized, "These initiatives not only secure safe water access but also drive long-term prosperity at local and national levels by providing affordable solutions."

At the inauguration ceremony, Ambassador Johnson, along with Julie Southfield (Director of the USAID mission in Lebanon) and representatives from the Union of Zgharta Municipalities, the Mayor of Mazraeat Altufaah, and a delegate from the Board of Directors of the North Lebanon Water Foundation, collectively emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts in advancing sustainable development initiatives.

Expanding Solar Capacity

The USAID's Community Support Program is actively participating in 23 solar energy projects across various regions in Lebanon. Engaged in these endeavors to alleviate the strain on essential services, with a cumulative value of $4.8 million USD, these projects collectively generate approximately 2.7 megawatts of clean energy, benefiting more than 435,000 citizens.

Lebanon has witnessed a remarkable surge in solar adoption in recent years. Confronted with a severe energy crisis, the nation faced frequent power cuts impacting water supply and communication services. Traditional solutions fell short due to Electricité du Liban's limitations in providing consistent electricity.

Numerous Lebanese households and businesses have embraced solar energy as a dependable and budget-friendly option. Today, solar panels grace rooftops nationwide, playing a vital role in shaping a greener and more sustainable tomorrow.

A member of the Mazloum family in Broummana has expressed their firsthand encounter with solar energy, highlighting its significant impact. Our integration of Solar Power and battery systems has resulted in annual savings ranging from $3,000 to $4,000 on electricity and generator expenses, ensuring a reliable power supply. The urgent plea directed to the government is to intensify initiatives promoting the adoption of solar technology.

From Zero to 190 Megawatts

Lebanon commenced its exploration into solar energy capacity in 2010, starting from a point of no capacity. The progression led to a steady increase to 90 megawatts by 2020. However, the defining moment unfolded in 2021 with the inclusion of an extra 100 megawatts, catapulting the total solar capacity to 190 megawatts.

The Lebanese government continues to invest actively in solar infrastructure, aiming to enhance the country's energy generation capabilities. Recent studies by the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation highlight increased project numbers, energy production, and substantial cost savings, accompanied by clear reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite the growing adoption of Solar Power, cost remains a barrier. Initial investments can be significant, but long-term savings make them worthwhile. Moreover, the environmental impact, including reduced reliance on fossil fuels, contributes to overall sustainability.

In summary, Lebanon's solar energy journey—from zero capacity to a thriving industry—demonstrates the resilience and adaptability of its people in overcoming energy challenges.

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