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July 13, 2019

In 2009, at the 15th session of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Lebanese Government made a pledge to develop renewable energy (RE) to reach 12% of the projected total electricity and heating demand in Lebanon by 2020. For this, the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC) and the Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) developed multiple plans that were outlined in The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan for the Republic of Lebanon-NEEAP 2011–2015 (LCEC, 2012) and The Second National Energy Efficiency Action Plan for the Republic of Lebanon-NEEAP 2016–2020 (LCEC, 2016) and The National Renewable Energy Action Plan for the Republic of Lebanon 2016–2020 (NREAP) (LCEC, 2016). These reports detail how the energy efficiency (EE) and RE goals will be reached. NREAP includes targets for different RE technologies, including solar water heaters (SWHs). The target for SWHs is based on the Global Solar Water Heating Market Transformation and Strengthening Initiative, a joint program launched in 2009 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the International Copper Association (ICA).

According to NREAP, SWHs should reach an installed surface area of 1,054,000 m2 in 2020. This study assessed progress toward goals for installed capacity of SWHs and the evolution of the Lebanese SWH market. Recommendations on how to improve the market are proposed along with an estimation of their impact.

In November 2010, a financial incentive program (“the SWH Program”) was put in place to motivate potential Lebanese SWH customers. The SWH Program is still operational. It consists of low interest loans for all SWH systems (these loans were made at a 0% interest rate in November 2010 after which the mechanism was restructured and the interest rate increased as detailed in Annex 1) and a 200 US dollar (USD) subsidy only for qualified systems included on the LCEC list of qualified solar water heater companies (QSWHC). This list is issued quarterly on the LCEC website. In addition to qualified systems, some systems or components on the list are labelled as “passing”. Passing systems are not eligible for the USD 200 subsidy.

As of December 2017, the total installed surface area of SWHs in Lebanon exceeds 608,000 m2. Of this surface area, more than 390,000 m2 (with a total capacity that exceeds 25 million liters [L]) were installed after beginning of the SWH Program.

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