The National Bioenergy Assessment for Lebanon has been published by the UNDP-CEDRO project, implemented by a consortium of international and local companies. Twenty-three biomass streams have been identified and grouped according to sources of origin: Forestry, wood and paper, agriculture, energy crops, food processing and municipal solid waste and non – hazardous industrial waste.
From the evaluated resource assessments and conversion options, strict sustainability criteria were adopted in the study where social, economic and environmental implications of bioenergy supply were considered and constraints set. These constrains entailed that only the bioenergy streams that will not have any negative implications, yet may have positive ones, on sustainability criteria, will be considered. The study then turned its focus on the future through scenarios from the present up to 2030.
The most optimistic scenario indicated that Lebanon can secure approximately 38% of its entire current heating demands, 17% of its transportation fuels, and 3% of its electricity needs (assuming a 4,000 MW capacity planned for 2014) from bioenergy resources. From a country that outsources more than 97% of its primary energy requirements, these values above give substantial backing to Lebanon in becoming more energy independent.
Secondary benefits of bioenergy utilization were also highlighted in this study. These benefits cover such things as forest fire management (reduction), rural income and employment generation, illicit crop substitution, and carbon emission reductions.