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The energy sector in Lebanon is one of the most important pillars of development in the country though the country is faced with a lot of challenges. One of these challenges is that despite the fact that Lebanon falls in the group of the few countries that are not large producers of fossil fuel in the Middle East, a third of the national debt in Lebanon is caused by this sector (Bleaney 33). The government of Lebanon has invested a lot in the power sector but there are still cases of black outs in peak times to the high demand which leaves the government no other choice but to import electricity from Syria. Based on the fact that fossil fuel resources are not available in Pakistan, the energy provision in the country are accomplished through the use of petroleum products, this represents more than five million TOE (Tonnes of oil equivalent) in the year 2003. Among all the imports of the country, about 50% is fuel imports (Bleaney 23).
In comparison with the other neighboring countries, Lebanon can be referred to as energy exhaustive country with its intensity being 225ktoe/1000$US 2000(PPP). For the last one two decades or so, with the end of the Civil War in Lebanon, the electricity generation has been growing at a very high rate. About 87% of the electricity is produced with the use of the petroleum products such as gas or diesel as well as the residual fuel oil. The remaining 13% of the electricity is produced from water (hydro-power generation) (Arson 66). Though the government has tried its level best to ensure that the distribution networks to ensure that power shortage areas are wide spread, power shortage in the country is still a reality resulting from the physical damage to the production transmission as well as distribution facilities throughout the conflict. Most of the electricity generation in the country is from the public sector (77%) with the private sector producing about 15% and the rest which is about 5% an importation from Syria. The Electricite du Liban (EDL) is the body that is in charge of the this sector of Energy. It oversees the operation of seven thermal power plants whose capacity is about 2038 MW as well as six hydro power plants whose capacity is about 221MW (Bleaney 93).
As an environmental measure, energy production that leads to more accumulation of carbon dioxide and other poisonous gases in the air needs to be reduced and one way of doing this is to improve on the utilization of the renewable energy sources. Due to the negative impacts that the energy production sector has to the environment and the welfare of the general public, it would be necessary to look into the Renewable energy sources as an alternative source of energy. The renewable energy utilization has always received the support of the officials of from both the Lebanese Electricity (EDL) as well as the Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW).Only a few cases of the utilization of the renewable energy sources are evident and it should it is upon all stakeholders to join the government in encouraging the use of these energy sources (Arson 66).
In Lebanon, there are renewable sources available and whose use is being campaigned by the government and other NGOs based on the fact that they are not widely utilised. These include; wind, solar, hydro, as well as biomass. In the year 2003, the renewable sources in the country accounted for about 4% the total primary supply of energy and this was a good representation the indigenous source of energy basically (Bleaney 134).
Despite the fact that Lebanon does not have any oil reserve as noted earlier in this paper, fuel that is linked with electricity is widely used and this explains why the prices of electricity in the country are very high. The cost of generator diesel is even higher in Lebanon and this explains why the people of Lebanon needs to concentrate on the renewable energy sources that are more economical and distributed evenly across the country as well. For example, the country of Lebanon is one of the countries that are well placed to enjoy solar energy based on the fact that they enjoy more than three hundred sunny days every year (Arson 66). Despite this, solar energy is yet to be thoroughly exploited in the country. A body by the name Solar Energy Lebanon has been formed to look into this matter deeply. Through this body, there have been introduction of a number of new product types that includes; on-roof photovoltaic Solar Panel as well as PV Module to Concentrated Solar Power among others and this are meant to encourage the general public in using the solar energy sources that are more beneficial to the environment, economical and more organization in handling of waste products. Other services offered by this energy body include; position of art command systems as well as solutions to power storage among other duties. According to the body, it is far much better to spend a little money in home lighting, or cooling and heating the people we cherish most, it is advisable to use the sun in the contemporary times and this is a positive move towards attaining independence in terms of energy sources.
Another renewable energy source that can be employed in Lebanon to solve the current energy requirements is the wind power and in particular onshore winds. According to The National Wind Atlas of Lebanon, if only this source was enhanced, 6.1 gigawatts can be produced every year and this could cater for more than 75% of the current energy consumption (Bleaney 73).
One of the major goals of such a body as 'Country Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Demonstration Project' (CEDRO) is to ensure that the country of Lebanon meets its target. Its only recent when the Spanish Ambassador Juan Carlos Gafo stated the intention of the country towards assisting Lebanon to improve their lighting abilities as well as combating the current challenge as far as energy sources are considered. This move by Spain is also intended as assisting the country to be able to control their climatic changes through the controlled emissions in the air. The wind potential in the country of Lebanon lies in four major basic areas. These include a small section that extends from the Cedars of Bsharri up to the Qobeiyat region in Akkar as well as other three different regions that are not that expanse but they lie in the region of near the border of Lebanon and Syria and each of these areas is located somehow towards the east of Baalbek, Rashaya as well as Zahle. There has been also a small section that has been identified around the coastal region of Amioun region of Koura but the potential of there being an offshore phenomenon is quite difficult. A map that was produced indicating the majority of these areas ensured that it did not included the highly populated areas (Arson 66).
Another potential source of energy in Lebanon is the Geothermal Energy. This is a well pronounced method of producing power in other countries and it is a very economical method and one that is friendly to the environment. There has been no intention in Lebanon of using this method as a source of power for its various needs. there have been indications of the presence of geothermal water in some regions in the country and this needs to be exploited to the fullest (Amin 5). These waters normally occur where there basalt rocks that have been exposed to the environment. A study was actually conducted in an attempt to verify this and as a result there were four basic geothermal domains that were discovered. The study goes into detail to explain the various processes that are involved so as the water to be able to heat up in the ground the way it usually does and goes on to recommend the need to exploit this very important resource in the country of Lebanon (Amin 8).
In conclusion, it is obvious that the demand for the energy in Lebanon is very high than the supply. Based on the fact that Lebanon though located in the Middle East region does not have oil deposits makes it more challenging to satisfy the stated demand. The major source of energy is electricity and this is not enough especially in the peak times when the country is forced to import a certain percentage of electricity energy from Syria (Arson 68). It has also been indicated that the electricity production is a process that involves a lot of air pollution and as a result the need to settle to renewable energy sources that are more environmentally friendly. This is the reason why the governments as well as other stakeholders in the country have invested their time and effort to do research on some of these renewable sources as indicated in the report and the need for Lebanon to settle on them. This report's recommendation is that the government of Lebanon and other stakeholders may remain co-operative in the implementation of the renewable energy sources that have been mentioned (Arson 66).