Refugee Crisis Hits Lebanon’s Electricity Network
The ongoing Syrian refugee crisis is damaging Lebanon’s already poor electricity infrastructure.
The Ministry of Energy and Water in partnership with UNDP and with funding from the Kingdom of the Netherlands launched the report on The Impact of the Syrian Crisis on the Lebanese Power Sector and Priority Recommendations on February 21, 2017 at the Smallville Hotel in Beirut.
Prior to the onset of the Syrian crisis, Lebanon was, and still is, suffering from serious and persistent issues in its energy sector. The limited generation capacities and the increasing demand impede Électricité du Liban (EDL), the national utility, from meeting the country’s electricity demand. The gap between EDL’s electricity production and total electricity consumption increases every year. Ageing power plants in Lebanon operate below their rated capacity. This results in power outages of at least three hours per day in Beirut and up to twelve hours outside of Beirut.
"The supply of electricity to the average Lebanese citizen is neither better nor worse now than it was before the Syrian crisis began. This is thanks to actions taken that considered the short and medium term” stated UNDP Country Director Mr. Luca Renda. He added that “We can build on this success and replicate the achievements to make lives for people in all communities. Thanks to this report we now know what needs to be done and where it needs to be done."
"I call out to you donors, the international community, UN agencies and international NGOs to start considering the energy sector as vital and cross sectoral requiring as much assistance as the others, and as a sector that helps respond to the increasing humanitarian needs of the country” added the Minister of Energy and Water Mr. Cesar Abi Khalil.
The study included assessments of 350 Syrian refugee families that are present in different areas of Lebanon. The report which illustrates results of this study, shows that the direct consumption of electric power per day by the refugees is 1.62 kWon average for each family. The refugees consume an average of 486kW in Lebanon on a daily basis, which is equivalent to 30% of the production of the EDL. This leads the Lebanese Citizen to lose 5 extra hours of electricity daily which could have been added to the 14 hours that are already present. These 5 hours should have been present for the Lebanese on all Lebanese territories since 2012.
Dr. Hassan Harajli, CEDRO - UNDP Project Manager, presented an overview of the power sector through a social perspective at the workshop on the Impact of the Syrian Crisis on the Lebanese Power Sector and Priority Recommendations. Also Mr. Mohamad Naim, AEMS- Advance Engineering and Management Services S.A.L Consultant, presented the methodology of the study. Adding to that, Mr. Robert Sfairy, Senior Energy Consultant to the Ministry of Energy & Water, presented the study's results and recommendations. Moreover, Ms. Suzy Hoayek, LCRP Coordinator for the Ministry of Energy & Water presented the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan 2017-2020's Energy Chapter.