Lebanon tackles electricity shortage with photovoltaics

Lebanon is an energy-short country in the Middle East. Coupled with the severe economic crisis in recent years, sharp currency depreciation and shrinking foreign exchange reserves, it is even more difficult to obtain energy for power generation. Although the Lebanese government has taken some contingency measures to ease the fuel shortage pressure of power plants: the military urgently provided a total of 6 million liters of fuel to fill the power generation gap; the central bank approved a loan of 100 million US dollars for fuel imports. But this is still difficult to achieve the purpose of permanent cure.

According to a number of media reports on October 9, 2021, the two main power stations in Lebanon have stopped supplying power due to fuel exhaustion, which has officially paralyzed the national power grid in Lebanon and will not be able to resume operation in a short time. Before the 9th, the people of Lebanon had already had a hard time with only two hours of power supply every day. Many people relied on private diesel generators to meet their electricity needs, but diesel itself was also in short supply of fuel, and the operating cost of diesel engines was also increasing. The higher the price, the harder it is for the people to afford it.

In order to solve the power shortage problem, the Lebanese people began to look for new power generation channels. Lebanon’s climate types are mainly tropical desert climate, Mediterranean climate, and temperate continental climate. The solar radiation energy is relatively high. According to the SASA meteorological data of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the average monthly radiation in Lebanon is 179.7. With high strength, it is very suitable for installing solar photovoltaic power stations. After the power station is completed, it is estimated that the daily average power generation will be 560Kwh, the monthly average power generation will be 4322.76Kwh, and the annual power generation will be 209692.84KWh. The Central Bank of Lebanon, whose US dollar reserves have been severely depleted, can no longer finance fuel imports at a subsidized exchange rate, which means that imports of fuel products may stop altogether in the near future, which will also determine Lebanon’s commitment to solar panel systems. Demand has skyrocketed as a 20-amp solar panel system using four batteries can provide power for about five hours at night, and an eight-battery system can provide power throughout the night.And Felicitysolar occupies more than 60% of the Lebanese energy storage market, becoming one of the most famous brands in Lebanon.

Everyone needs lighting, and although solar panel systems are also costly, they would rather borrow money from relatives or take loans from banks than invest in solar power to solve their electricity problems. There is no photovoltaic manufacturing industry in the Middle East. Products such as energy storage battery ,solar inverter and photovoltaic modules are dependent on imports. The demand for solar products has increased to the point where such equipment has disappeared from the Lebanese market, so merchants are also importing equipment from different countries, including China, Germany, UK and UAE etc.

With the upsurge of decarbonization in the world and the shortage of non-renewable resources, solar photovoltaic power generation will become an important way for Lebanon to alleviate the power contradiction. In May 2022, the Lebanese government issued a 165MW photovoltaic bidding project, and frequent power outages led to an increase in private power generation demand. Residents’ demand for photovoltaic power generation has increased significantly, because it can provide power for household lighting, refrigerators, fans and washing machines. If there is no photovoltaic power generation, the local It is difficult for the government to guarantee the supply of electricity for even half an hour, so the business opportunity contained in it is very huge. If this opportunity is seized, it is believed that many new energy companies will gain more profits in this market.