Rather quietly, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has ushered in a new renewable energy target for the year 2030.
The new ambition calls for 30% of the nation’s electricity and heat in 2030 to be sourced from renewable energy.
That is more than double the existing target of 12% renewable energy in the country’s electricity and heat generation mix by 2020.
Hariri announced the news during a meeting with World Energy Council secretary general Christoph Frei, as well as the Lebanese minister of energy and water and the president of the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC).
However, pv magazine has learned no press release will be issued announcing the change at this point. Instead, Hariri aims to announce the new target in a public address next year, when the new National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) for the years 2021-2025 is about to be published.
The idea behind the delay, said Pierre El Khoury – General Director and President of the LCEC board – “is to link the governmental commitment to a detailed and scientific action plan”.
Lebanon’s solar sector
Until Lebanon’s new NREAP is published, the country’s PV sector will continue to focus on a 100 MW photovoltaic target for the year 2020.
By the end of last year, Lebanon had installed 35.45 MW of solar PV, mainly in the form of small units. A series of recent solar PV tender announcements make the 2020 target feasible.
That is despite the fact renewable energy’s share of Lebanon’s annual electricity generation in 2017 accounted for only 3.35%, casting doubt on the 2020 milestone. Similar doubts apply to the 2030 target.
Mr. El Khoury told pv magazine the 2030 target “is not easy, it would require building mega projects in the range of 1,000 to 2,000 MW of solar PV farms, in a single location probably”. Despite the new target being a tough one, however, Mr. El Khoury feels it is achievable.