Lebanon’s electrical grid has severe power shortages and average power outages of six hours a day. The government of the Netherlands, through a Develop2Build (D2B) grant, is helping Lebanon to carry out a feasibility study into the potential of green energy production.
On 2 July 2019, the Dutch ambassador to Lebanon Jan Waltmans and the General Director of the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC) Pierre El Khoury, signed the D2B grant arrangement in Beirut.
Feasibility study into green energy
The D2B grant will allow Lebanon to study the feasibility of developing a Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Plant in northern Lebanon. People in Lebanon go without electricity for six hours each day on average. The shortage is especially pronounced in the evening hours. Moreover, the country depends on expensive oil imports and faces a sky-high energy bill. The unreliable electricity supply takes its toll on economic stability and on the development of the private sector.
Concentrated Solar Power Plant
The Lebanese government wants to reduce the energy shortage and achieve a reliable electricity supply in the evening hours. Its strategy will be to produce green energy with storage capacities. A Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Plant will make this possible. The plant concentrates the sun’s heat to heat up a liquid – typically molten salt – and to power a turbine. This form of thermal energy can be stored and supplied to the electrical grid when demand is highest. The great advantage of a CSP Plant is that it can supply energy even during cloudy weather and after sunset. Ultimately, the construction of a CSP plant will also create job opportunities for Lebanese citizens and Syrian refugees in the north of Lebanon.
The D2B programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports governments by providing them with a grant, which allows them to carry out studies that are necessary to get an infrastructural project started. Such studies include feasibility studies, environmental impact assessments and conceptual designs. The party implementing the programme is the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.