I just received via Electricity Minister Gebran Bassil’s official fan page on Twitter his plan (the executive summary of the plan) to reform the electricity sector in Lebanon. The 3-page document is in Arabic however, you can use Google to translate (it does a pretty decent job). Here are some highlights from the document:
- EDL should start recording profits by 2015 (I find that quite a daunting task).
- By 2015, Lebanon should have a available capacity of 50%. According to Bassil’s estimates, Lebanon will be consuming 2500MW while producing 5000MW. This will then be followed by production capacity increases of 7-15% annually.
- Work should begin immediately on a 1500MW power plant as an IPP (independent power plant) where the private sector will contribute to its construction. A draft law to allow IPPs is ready.
- Building additional dams (at least 125MW production each) and wind farms as well as to encourage waste-to-energy and geothermal power.
- As for power transmission, remove the high-voltage lines over Mansourieh (a popular action for the residents of the area) and complete connection to the Arab grid.
- Lebanon’s primary energy source will be gas procured from the region (Turkey, Russia, Syria) and possible directly off Lebanon’s coast.
- Study the possibility of developing solar power plant as well as net metering to encourage the private sector to use renewable energy and transfer excess power back into the national grid (i.e. the government will pay you for your support).
- Launching energy saving laws such as encouraging the use of CFL bulbs, solar water heaters, and public light saving mechanisms.
- Gradual increase in electricity tariffs in line with an increase in production capacity (i.e. as you receive a more consistent power supply, the price will increase) as well as low tariff timings (for instance, in the middle of the night).
As you can see, a lot needs to be done and so far things aren’t looking too good as the document mentions increasing power production this summer by 250MW which clearly didn’t happen.
Bassil's ambitious plan has considerable circuits to clear before we see the light.