Lebanon Businessnews News

Solar loans for engineers
National Solar Water Heaters target gets closer
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The Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC), the Beirut Order of Engineers and Architects (OEA), and the UNDP will soon launch an initiative to promote the usage of solar water heaters among engineers and architects.

The announcement follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the OEA and UNDP Lebanon to offer subsidized solar water heaters loans to OEA members. The MOU aims to install 1,000 solar water heaters nationwide.

The initiative is part of the plan by the Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW) to promote the usage of solar water heaters across the country. “The Ministry supports engineers by sponsoring them and coordinating with banks to provide them with a zero interest loan over a five-year period,” said Ziad El Zein, Public Relations Coordinator at the LCEC.

The MoEW will also reimburse the amount of $200 to each engineer at the end of the repayment period.

The initiative is in line with the fourth edition of the Beirut Energy Forum which will be held in September 2013. The forum will present the actual results achieved locally by the ‘Global Solar Water Heaters’ (GSWH) initiative compared to 2014 targets. The GSWH project started back in 2009 with the main target of achieving 190,000 square meters of additional solar water heaters installations by 2014.

In 2011 alone, 43,500 square meters of solar water heaters installations were achieved with some 12,200 solar water heaters at an estimated market value of $18 million. “This falls within the Ministry’s strategic goal of reaching 1.5 million square meters of solar heater installations by 2014” said el Zein.

The national initiative is hosted by the MoEW and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through a $1 million grant. It is also supported by MoEW in-kind donations worth more than $100,000, such as office rent space and transportation expenses.

Reported by Nader Houella
Date Posted: Jun 18, 2013
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