Solar system energy's growth rate and evolution of prices in Lebanon

Solar system energy's growth rate and evolution of prices in Lebanon

| Friday 01 July 2022

“Akhbar al-Yawm” agency

The need to ensure the quality and type of panels, batteries and inverters  in order to ensure the effectiveness

There is a noticeable increase in the use of solar energy due to the lack of electricity in the state.

In parallel, the Lebanese Center for energy conservation published its annual report on the solar electricity production systems market for 2020, based on information obtained by the center from more than 52 Lebanese companies specialized in the field of solar energy. The center points out that despite the spread of the corona pandemic and the country's entry into economic decline in 2020, the solar energy market continued to grow, but at a slower pace than in previous years, to reach a total installed capacity of about 90 megawatts by the end of 2020. Engineer Hadi Abu Moussa pointed out that the rise in energy prices in Lebanon as a result of the economic crisis and the increase in rationing hours in electricity contributed to the high demand for solar energy systems.

As for the total investment in these systems, it reached $135 million at the end of 2020, noting that about $11 million was invested in 2020, which is a high figure compared to other sectors that were negatively affected by the economic crisis in the country. The report also pointed out that the governorates of Mount Lebanon and the Bekaa are two of the most governorates that have witnessed the installation of solar energy systems, on the other hand, the governorate of Akkar recorded the lowest percentage of installed projects, and engineer Abu Mousa encouraged specialized companies to work in the districts located within the Akkar governorate because they contain suitable areas to provide the electricity needed by the agricultural sector through solar energy systems.

As for prices, the report showed a decrease in the average price of solar energy systems from about $7,200 in 2011 to $800 in 2020 per kilowatt, a decrease of about 10 times as a result of the continuous decline in solar energy prices globally in addition to competition between companies that provide solar energy services in the local market. As for investments, they were about $2 million in 2010, and accumulated to reach $135 million by the end of 2020.

The report pointed out that there is a remarkable growth of solar energy systems in various sectors, especially in the industrial sector, which accounted for about 32% of the total market volume, while the agricultural sector accounted for 17% of it, so that solar energy is used in irrigation projects in light of the constant electricity outages and high fuel oil prices locally and internationally.

These projects have achieved annual financial savings amounting to about 60 billion Lebanese pounds in 2020, while it was 300 million pounds in 2010. Abu Moussa expects that this increase will continue in the next three years, especially with the lifting of full subsidies on fuel oil and the high cost of electricity production from private generators.

The report also pointed to a decrease in the number of companies working in the field of installing solar energy systems, where the largest number reached 66 in 2018 and decreased to 50 in 2020, due to the severe economic crisis in the country. Note that 2021 witnessed an unprecedented increase in the number of companies and individuals working in this sector. It is noteworthy that the annual number of solar energy projects in Lebanon in 2011 was only 25 projects, rising to 313 in 2020.

Regarding the quality of services, Abu Moussa said that there are professional companies working in the solar energy sector, and other non-specialized companies that negatively affect the quality of installed systems, noting the new cooperation between the center and the Industrial Research Institute to provide training courses for technicians in this field. He called on citizens to ensure the quality and type of panels, batteries, inverters and all components of the solar energy system to ensure its effectiveness, pointing out that the center's team continues to guide citizens technically to ensure that they receive the best solutions.

It is noteworthy that the Lebanese Center has contributed with the Ministry of energy and water and the European bank for reconstruction and development to the preparation of the distributed renewable energy law, which, if approved in the House of Representatives, will lead to the creation of a new dynamic in the solar energy market, according to experts. The Center estimates that the total installed capacity with the adoption of the law will reach about 800 megawatts in the next three years.

 

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