Addressing a renewable energy forum in Beirut earlier this month, Lebanon’s Water and Energy Minister Gebran Bassil (pictured left) cited the need for regulatory changes to facility the introduction of renewable energy in the country, but expressed optimism that Lebanon will reach its goal of generating 12% of its electricity through renewable resources by 2020.
Participants in the forum, which was organized by the McGill Alumni Association of Lebanon, included “decision-makers and stakeholders from the country’s energy sector, governmental and municipal authorities, technology providers in the private sector as well as non-governmental organizations,” according to a report in the Beirut-based Daily Star.
“We are not ready on the technical and legislative levels but we are committed to deal with these issues and get over with them as soon as possible,” Bassil declared. “We need a smart grid in Lebanon,” he added.
Bassil insisted that the ministry’s goal of 12% usage of renewable energy by 2020 “is feasible due to the highly skilled human resources available in Lebanon, in addition to the special nature of the country.”
Government allots $9 million for renewable energy projects
Bassil applauded the Lebanese government’s decision earlier this month to allocate $9 million for renewable energy projects. “This indicates that the government is highly committed to such projects by taking actions and not just through ministerial statements,” he asserted. “The problem in Lebanon has always been that of a political decision, but I can assure you that today we have both the will and the decision to go on with this project,” he added.
The minister announced that Lebanon recently began a study to determine the best locations in the country for wind power generation, with a goal of generating up to 500 MW of power via wind-turbine installations. He called for the initiation of a similar study to map Lebanon for solar energy potential, but noted that Lebanon’s relatively small size and high-cost of land constitute the biggest obstacle in this field.
(Image via www.gebranbassil.com)