The Lebanon National Committee aims to promote sustainable energy development in Lebanon, as a part of the WEC’s energy vision. As a member of the WEC network, the organisation is committed to representing the Lebanese perspective within national, regional and global energy debates. The committee includes a variety of members to ensure that the diverse energy interests of Lebanon are appropriately represented. Members of the committee are invited to attend high-level events, participate in energy-focused study groups, contribute to technical research and be a part of the global energy dialogue.
Mr. El Khoury is the General Director and President of the Board at LCEC. Graduated from the American University of Beirut (AUB), he holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master Degree in Engineering Management. He joined UNDP in 2005 to become a member of the LCEC project team. He became the project manager of the center by end of 2008. With the institutionalization of the LCEC in 2011, he headed the first Executive Board. He was appointed in 2010 by the Ministry of Energy and Water as member of the national committee responsible for the implementation of the “Policy Paper of the Electricity Sector” for Lebanon. He is the main writer of the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan for Lebanon (NEEAP), making Lebanon the first country in the Arab world to have such a plan. El Khoury is also the main developer of the concept of NEEREA, Lebanon’s national financing mechanism. He is the national representative of Lebanon in the Board of Trustees of the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE). He is also Secretary of the World Energy Council (WEC) Lebanon Committee, the national focal point of IRENA, MSP, and many other initiatives.
Energy in Lebanon
Comparing the results from 2019 and 2020, Lebanon’s Critical Uncertainties section is led by innovation issues rather than geopolitical ones. The Action Priorities section indicates consistency around the sustainability approach for sector development.
IoT/Blockchain emerges in the Critical Uncertainties section as the technology is gaining more attention as an instrument to enhance energy access and affordability. A shared solar energy system was piloted by the UNDP ‘Village 24 Initiative’, first implemented the municipality of Qabrikha. The test led to a substantial reduction of electricity costs, but uncertainties remain regarding the role of the national utility and how to coordinate a transition to a more decentralised energy system.
Mobile Cloud and Platforms enter the high impact and high uncertainty section for the first time in Lebanon. This is an indicator that the country is moving towards digitalisation. However, as of yet, there are no set initiatives or implemented projects to showcase the extent of their feasibility.
Data AI is also seen with higher impact, confirming a year of critical attention to innovation issues. Digital platforms are expected to have a high impact on the energy sector and are considered as an area that must be addressed urgently to help improve the current energy situation. Both the public and the private sector are looking into these types of projects and studying their potential.
Renewable Energies remain a key Action Priority, as underlined by the government’s increased ambition to source 30% of electricity and heat from renewable energies by 2030. Tenders for the competitive procurement of solar PV projects and wind farms, each coupled with electricity storage capacity, are currently being auctioned. Given Lebanon’s challenges with regards to under-capacity and high import dependence, renewables are considered as a resilience tool to enhance the demand-supply balance and diversify the energy mix.
Energy Subsidies are seen with reduced uncertainty. Oil products are traditionally highly subsidised in Lebanon, reinforcing concerns around their impact on the state budget, climate and welfare. The 2019 popular protests have further enhanced the urgency for action around issues related to the national economy. Currently, subsidies mainly support the operations of the national utility, but parallel developments towards decentralisation, decarbonisation and digitalisation are creating a new set of needs and priorities around this issue.
Economic Growth moves from Critical Uncertainty to Action Priority. A ‘Vision for Stabilization’ was presented in April 2018 as an attempt to address economic growth, create productive jobs and alleviate the burden of reforms on communities. Recent actions include the issuance of about US$2 billion worth of foreign currency bonds aimed at recovering hard currency and improving the investment landscape.
Lebanon’s energy sector is improving thanks to the diversification of the energy mix. While the economy is growing at a slower pace, investments in renewable energy technologies are increasing at a remarkable rate. In parallel with private projects, the government is also providing enabling policies and is showing determination to reach national targets and combat climate change. Lebanon is also determined to diversify further its energy mix by including technologies such as Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and bioenergy.