GEF Publication Showcases Lebanon Solar Water Heaters Market

GEF22 October 2012: The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) has published “The Residential Solar Water Heaters (SWH) Market in Lebanon in 2011.” The report highlights how sound governmental policies can boost a green economy, using the example of the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water's (MEW) support for the SWH market.

The report evaluates the creation of a national financing mechanism for SWH, including the effects of government SWH subsidies, interest-free loans and sales activities on the Lebanese residential SWH market in 2011. It attributes the success of the financing mechanism to close cooperation among the Central Bank of Lebanon, the MEW and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The mechanism has a final target of “a solar water heater for every house.”

The report highlights the energy and emission savings from SWH unit installations in 2011, which has led to an annual energy consumption reduction of 28,292 MWh, or approximately 3.68 MW of energy production, corresponding to an annual savings of 18,389 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Recommendations include: increasing awareness raising efforts; building capacity for commercial banks that facilitate solar loans to avoid delays and simplify applications; providing risk guarantees for low and middle income households; and increasing Initiative coverage by involving banks throughout Lebanon.

The report was produced as part of the Global Solar Water Heating Market Transformation and Strengthening Initiative, a joint UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-UN Development Programme (UNDP) that is funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). In Lebanon, this Initiative has four aims: establishing a financial and policy environment that promotes SWH; raising awareness about the SWH market; implementing pilot projects; and setting up certification and quality control schemes. The Initiative began in 2009 and is implemented in Albania, Algeria, Chile, India, Lebanon and Mexico. [The Residential Solar Water Heaters Market in Lebanon in 2011] [Press Release]