Xinhua News Agency: “Middle East Clean Energy aims to increase awareness of clean energy solutions and provide an industry platform for enterprises”

by Dana Halawi

BEIRUT, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) — While the use of solar energy is growing in Lebanon, industry experts are concerned with several challenges that may impede the sector’s continuous growth.

One of the challenges is posed by the non-professionals in the sector.

Ali Khalife, senior manager at Khalife for oil&lub, told Xinhua that some people working in Lebanon’s solar industry are not experts in the field, whose work has caused technical problems, discouraging clients from using these systems.

“For Instance, in some cases, those non-professionals used the wrong electrical connectors, which do not match the system’s requirements,” Khalife said.

Khalife’s remarks came on the sidelines of the Middle East Clean Energy Conference held at le Yacht Club in Beirut Downtown.

The conference, which runs from Sept. 7-9, along with an exhibition for experts in the field, aims to increase awareness of clean energy solutions to the public and provide an industry platform for enterprises to accelerate business cooperation and market penetration.

Hussein Fakih, manager at Takom Energy Co, agreed with Khalife. He has witnessed incidents of batteries and inverters explosion as they were installed incorrectly.

“This is why solar energy work must only be done by experts who can also provide maintenance for clients and after-purchase services,” Fakih said.

Another obstacle, according to Maroun Charabati, owner of Manalco, a company dealing with clean energy solutions, is that some people still have a conservative mentality when it comes to solar.

“This necessitates awareness of its benefits for individuals, businesses, and the environment,” he said.

Diana Fawaz, manager at CW Enerji, told Xinhua that one significant obstacle facing people in Lebanon is the lack of financial capability to install solar energy amid a drop in purchasing power due to the economic crisis.

Lebanon has been suffering from a chronic electricity problem, exacerbated by the lack of U.S. dollars which limits the country’s capacity to import fuel for power stations. As a result, Lebanese households bear intermittent daily blackouts that last for as long as 20 hours a day.

An increasing number of Lebanese have resorted to solar energy amid fears of further power cuts as Lebanon’s central bank reserves stand at less than 11 billion dollars, which means the import of fuel products might come to a complete halt.

Khalife told Xinhua that before the country’s economic crisis in 2019, household demand for solar systems was nearly zero. The increase in the supply of solar systems led to a drop in their prices compared to the past.

“An average system for a household used to cost no less than 10,000 dollars,” said Fakih, adding that now the price has dropped to around 4,000 dollars. ■

Source: Xinhua News Agency – Link here –