The Global Environment Facility, along with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), estimated the size of Lebanon's solar water heaters market at $18.1m in 2011. It said that a total of 12,197 solar water heaters were installed in households last year, of which 8,640 systems or 70.8% of the total were installed either through direct cash payments or private "dealer-to-consumer" loans or agreements; 1,840 systems were installed through the national financing mechanism that grants interest free loans and a repayment period of up to 5 years; and 1,717 systems that benefited from a $200 grant from the Energy Ministry. It noted that subsidies provided by the government totaled $0.34m last year and facilitated direct loans with a value of $5.3m. It added that the average price of a solar water heater in Lebanon is estimated at $1,487 with an average system size of 266 liters.
The installed solar water heaters were equivalent to a capacity of over 43,500 square meters of collector area
In parallel, it said that the installed solar water heaters were equivalent to a capacity of over 43,500 square meters of collector area, or the area that intercepts solar radiation. It estimated the total installed storage capacity last year at around 3.3 million liters, equivalent to 3,313 cubic meters of hot water capacity. It noted that 945,225 liters or 28.5% were installed through loans, of which 496,685 liters through loans exclusively and 448,540 liters through loans with subsidies. China is the main source of solar water heaters in Lebanon and accounts for more than 70% of the collectors sold and more than 42% of storage tanks, while Lebanese firms account for 18% of collectors and 36% of storage tanks.
Installed solar heaters systems reduced electricity demand by 28.3 million kilowatt-hours, saved 3.68 Megawatts in electrical power capacity, and reduced emissions by 18,390 tons of CO2
Further, Mount Lebanon accounted for 29% of total installed systems last year, followed by Nabatieh with 21% and the Bekaa with 17%. According to the study, installed solar heaters systems resulted in savings of around $3.7m for consumers and about $0.15m for Electricité du Liban in the form of subsidies reduction. It estimated that installed solar heaters systems reduced electricity demand by 28.3 million kilowatt-hours, saved 3.68 Megawatts in electrical power capacity, and reduced emissions by 18,390 tons of CO2 equivalent last year.
The initiative intends to help Lebanon reach one million square meters of total installed solar water heaters capacity by 2020
The GEF Global Solar Water Heaters Initiative was launched in 2009 with the objective of accelerating the market development of solar water heating in Lebanon. It aims to facilitate the installation of 190,000 square meters of collector area over the 2009-14 period, with a target annual sale of 50,000 square meters by 2014. It also intends to help Lebanon reach one million square meters of total installed solar water heaters capacity by 2020. It claims that reaching these targets would reduce annual electricity demand by 123.6 million kilowatt-hours, save 16 Megawatts in electrical power capacity, and lead to cumulative greenhouse gas reduction potential of over 3 million tons of CO2 between 2009 and 2020.
Lebanon This Week – Byblos Research