SDG7: AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY
Thermal energy generation still predominates in Lebanon, but it is moving towards increasing its energy generation from renewable sources. Ensuring reliable and sustainable access to electricity to all remains a challenge for the country, notwithstanding managing energy’s impact on pollution. In 2017 Lebanon also started planning offshore petroleum resources exploration Law 462/200248 governs the electricity sector. Its main objective is to create an independent regulatory authority for electricity, unbundle Lebanon’s power sector and ultimately privatize production and distribution, in the hope of resolving power shortages. The regulatory authority has not yet been established yet.
In 2017 the Council of Ministers approved a five-year strategy for the electricity sector, which builds on a previous plan made in 2010. The strategy aims to bridge the electricity generation supply-demand gap, resolve transmission and distribution problems to improve accessibility and reliability, and work on energy efficiency and increasing the share of energy from renewable sources.
Recently Lebanon has started to license offshore hydrocarbon exploration. Under the 2010 offshore petroleum resources law, the Lebanese Petroleum Administration was established to advise Cabinet and Parliament. In 2017 the Cabinet issued decrees for the delineation of Lebanon’s maritime borders, and the tendering and award process for hydrocarbon exploration.
The bidding process was completed, and three companies in one consortium made offers on blocks four and nine in Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone (maritime) and were consequently awarded exploration and production rights. The exploration phase is expected to start upon the approval of the exploration plan and will last up to five years. Commercial findings should ultimately support the country’s electricity generation plans and its shift away from the costly fuel-oil burning power plants that will reduce emissions and contribute to Lebanon’s climate change action and its commitment to the Paris Agreement and the SDGs. The environmental assessment of oil exploration projects is ongoing.
The engineering faculty of the Lebanese University had participated in Erasmus projects and established agreements with petroleum institutions in order to provide students with new technologies and programs in the field of electricity and petrol.
Furthermore, the Lebanese University is collaborating with the Lebanese CNRS -Lebanon in order to get scholarship supporting advanced research in the field of electricity and petroleum, as well as the Lebanese university organized conference related to risk and hazard of using energy and how to transform it to an affordable energy.
The Master of Energy Physics at the Lebanese University - Faculty of Sciences (Branch 3) in Tripoli and the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE- NPCRJ Student Chapter) organized a seminar on “The reality of alternative energies in Lebanon”, on the occasion of the World Energy Day 2018 program, in the presence of the Faculty Dean, Dr. Bassam Badran, the Branch Director, Dr. Bilal Barakeh, the Dean of the Lebanese University - Doctoral School of Science and Technology, Dr. Fawaz Al-Omar, and interested parties.
At the beginning of the seminar, student Reem Halawani defined renewable energies, also called sustainable energy or green energy, as derivatives of renewed or non-depleted natural resources, which are fundamentally different from traditional fossil fuel, such as oil, coal, natural gas or nuclear fuel, and which do not generate renewable energy waste such as carbon dioxide or harmful gases that increase global warming.
According to Dean Badran, the theme of this scientific day is the proof of the Faculty of Science, through its different professional and research Masters, is keeping up with modern technologies, within the framework of the policy of rationalizing expenses and promoting the use of alternative energies, in order to preserve the right of future generations to a healthy and clean environment. This great faculty, in its energies and commitment, is in constant contact with the latest science, inventions and innovations, and in constant renewal, review and self-criticism for the better.
The second symposium organized by the Lebanese University - Faculty of Fine Arts & Architecture (Department of Urbanism) in cooperation with the Departments of Contemporary & Arab Studies at the French Institute of the Near East on the topic "Is nature a political player?", was held on 13 February 2020 entitled: “Green Architecture: Greenwashing or human reconciliation with the environment?”, within the framework of a series of research seminars.
Chadi Atieh (University of Liège in Belgium), Aram Yartazarian (American University of Beirut), Christina Abi Haidar (Attorney) and Rouba Farah (Saint Joseph University), participated in this symposium.
The distinguished career of Dr. Nadine Adra, graduate of the Lebanese University, was pursued between Tripoli - North Lebanon and Paris.
The journey of excellence of the young engineer began by winning the “Mary Haskell” award in 1990 on the topic of “The role of women in the writings of Salma al-Haffar Kuzbari”. In 1996, she obtained a Diploma in Civil Engineering from the Lebanese University - Faculty of Engineering (Branch 1) and a Bachelor’s degree in Arabic Literature from the Faculty of Letters & Human Sciences (Branch 3), and completed her PhD in the Sustainable Energy at the National Institute of Applied Sciences of Lyon (INSA Lyon). She then joined the Higher School of Economic and Commercial Sciences (ESSEC Business School) and the Emlyon Business School, France and obtained a certificate in Executive Business Administration.
Dr. Adra occupied several key positions in French and international companies such as Total S.A., Électricité de France S.A. (EDF) and the European Union, in addition to managing major projects in renewable energy and energy saving. She is the founder of the first French companies involved in green buildings, and the Regional President of the Energy Environment Technical Association (ATEE) involved in strengthening energy management in the industrial, construction and environmental protection sectors. In 2015, she was appointed as consultant to the Ministry of Foreign Trade in France pursuant to a decree of the Prime Minister.
From Waste to Energy", is a strategy according to which a team of graduates of the Lebanese University - Faculty of Engineering (Branch 2, Mechanical Engineering), provided a low-cost solution to the problem of fossil fuels by converting organic waste into an effective source of energy.
The idea began with Dr. Maroun Nemr and Dr. Haitham Al Sayyah in 2017 at the “Center for Energy Efficiency of Systems (CES) MINES ParisTech” and was developed and implemented in 2018 with the assistance of Dr. Rami Khadra and Dr. Christelle Bou Malham in “CryoCollect” in cooperation with “Verdemobil Biogaz” owned by the Lebanese Philippe Khairallah in France.
Dr. Al Sayyah, Dr. Khadra and Dr. Bou Malham, who hold a PhD in Construction & Energy Engineering from Mines ParisTech, have also developed a technology to extract and purify carbon dioxide with the aim of recycling and using it during the production of biomethane or biogas.
The French government supported the Lebanese team and allowed its production to be marketed and expanded to include several regions of the country, as part of its efforts to move to environmental and renewable alternatives in the field of energy, based on the “Paris Agreement” signed in 2015.
Hence, the exploration of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy are possible alternatives for the agency. In this section, we will explore the feasibility of integrating sustainable resources to the energy mix through public and private sector partnership.
With the Current: Hydro Power
Firstly, hydropower is the most established renewable energy resource in Lebanon and contributes to around 4.5% of the energy mix with a nominal capacity of 280 MW (MEW, 2018). Lebanon is currently looking to expand hydropower with the recent call to “build and operate hydroelectric plant” (MEW, 2018). However, Dr. Kinab, an engineering professor at the Lebanese University and renewable energy expert, explains hydraulic energy production has largely been inconsistent due to intermittent rainfalls and poor maintenance.
In this analysis, the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) is used as it measures break-even point (Energy Education, 2018). The LCOE of hydropower is estimated to be around $9c per KWH (El Fadel, Hammond, Harajli, Jones, Kabakian, Jones, 2009). The long term viability is confirmed as the levelised cost is inferior to the projected selling price of $12c per KWH to EDL (MEW, 2018).