The Lebanese environment is the major concern of this research to understand what steps should be taken into action that will result in a clean and better environment. By understanding the damage done by the non-renewable energy sources that are utilized to produce electricity in Lebanon, understanding the environment in Lebanon and the possibility to implement solar energy (photovoltaic panel) to produce electricity and by understanding the limitations and the potentials of Lebanon. The Study analyzes sample of the Lebanese population to show the relation of the governmental efforts by policies and subsidies that promote the utilization of the photovoltaic panels as a substitution to the Fuel supplied electricity generators. In the study the potential of the governmental efforts is compared to other third world countries such as Malaysia through the implementation of governmental subsidies and policies that helped in promoting non-renewable energy sources. A questionnaire method was used to observe the data collected and discussed to understand the research problem. The factors that are considered in this study to yield the results are the Lebanese geography , Lebanese population , the Lebanese government , The Lebanese economy , and the efficiency of photovoltaic panels in comparison to the fuel generated electricity .The research also shows how the environment is the responsibility of both the Lebanese government and the population but mainly the government efforts are the first step towards a better environment .
The world today is going through an irreversible environmental change. Human moral obligation to the future generation is to save the environment from any further damage. To control the outcome of these effects, there should be a plan with multiple steps to make a difference to the environment. The range of the effects of the damage can range to most of the world from biology to economy. According to the IUCN (International Union for conservation of nature, about twenty-two thousand biological species are at risk of extinction due to the threat of environmental change caused by the increased human population (Protect and Serve, 2014) . Economics is also a major contributor to the vast network of the environment , through the continuous processes of the humans by production and consumption that can be directly related to the impact of the environmental climate change (Kheirollahi, Noori, Rahmanian, Doborjy, & Mirzaei, 2014) . One of the steps to approach a better environment is to investigate the interactions between the human and the environmental systems that could develop a better understanding of the next steps of solving the problem. According to scientists whatever the action performed now it’s not going to impact significantly before another half century (Moss ; Lane, 2012).Lebanon as a Developing Country faces many environmental challenges due to its geography and economy .One of the main problems is the high dependency on non-renewable energy ,mainly oil in which is recognized internationally as the main cause of pollution. For developing countries that fear the future outcomes of climate changes should drive the governments to employ various policies to encourage green environment as well as reduce or stop the damage causing the climate change (Simpson, 2016). As for Lebanon the government should have a policy to reduce the cost of solar energy photovoltaic panels to encourage the Lebanese population of using green and renewable energy instead of non-renewable energy sources.
Lebanon located in the middle east is considered to have rich renewable sources such as the solar energy. Lebanon is also known to the suffer from the social and financial instabilities. In addition to the lack of finances, poor regulations, and corruption that delay such a promising substitution for the non-renewable energy sources. Lebanon is also completely reliable on imported energy sources. another problem that Lebanon is facing since the civil war from 1975to this day is the electricity blackouts that range to 14 hours a day. Lebanon is also one of the lucky countries that have a high number of sunny hours in the year even in winter days. Although several projects are being launched by the governmental sector to install photovoltaic panels, but the amount of installed solar energy in Lebanon is low because of the high expenses of the photovoltaic installations. And small scale decentralized installations of photovoltaic panels for households are not as popular as it is for governmental sectors such as Electricity Du Liban. In parallel, Lebanon as a developing country this study will show the relation between the implementation of governmental subsidies to encourage the solar photovoltaic panels. the study will confirm the promotion of the photovoltaic panels through the population by reducing the tax. The central bank of Lebanon as a sector from the government should be the main contributor to promote the solar energy by tax solutions. (Khoury, et al., 2016). Fuel generated electricity power is the main supply for Lebanon. every household is also equipped with an independent fuel generator. the population pay twice for electricity supplied. to reduce both bills of the governmental and the independent electric generator, a solar photovoltaic panel should be cheaper and more cost efficient than the fuel generators. Cheaper electricity bills will encourage the population households to equip and install the environmental safe electricity power generators. which will lead to reduced co2 emissions from the burned fuel. For both cost reduction and safer environment, the Lebanese population would be more encouraged to use the photovoltaic panels. (Khoury, et al., 2016)
Non-renewable energy such as the solar photovoltaic panels for producing electricity is a good start as a first step to save the environment. Studies show that non-renewable energy is the main source of emitted gases to the atmosphere that are causing the climate change and global warming issue. since the non-renewable sources are the major supplier of electricity worldwide governments are growing interest in the renewable energy sources that have more advantage and less disadvantages than non-renewable sources such as the solar technology (photovoltaic panels). Unfortunately, photovoltaic panels like many other renewable energy source installations are expensive for third world countries. Trying to utilize photovoltaic panels is not an easy task since it requires financial support from governments. (Khoury, et al., 2016)
. governments are the only ones that can stop environmental crisis by efficient ways such as taxing pollution, enforcing strict limitations for using non-renewable energy sources, increase national parks and green spaces (Hanley, 2015) .A similar study by Wirun, et al., (2013) shows the implementation of governmental subsidies to encourage the utility of photovoltaic panels in Malaysia by Tariff tax system which pays back to the citizens who install photovoltaic panel by the amount of excess electricity supplied. this Plan by the Malaysian government has noticed an increased popularity among the population to use solar photovoltaic panels.
A questionnaire is asked using a google forms to yield results about the potential of promoting photovoltaic panels by implementing governmental taxes, and subsidies to the Lebanese population. The structured questionnaire is in a close-ended form that will show the familiarity range of the Lebanese population about the Solar panels and the Potential of increased rate of the Photovoltaic panels in Lebanon in case the government is more forward to implementing taxes and subsidies.
The adult Lebanese population who are responsible for their electricity bills are aimed to be studied by this questionnaire, 40 random participants were invited to answer this survey that meet the criteria of the research problem, First, we observed the ratio of Non-renewable energy electricity source to the Solar photovoltaic panels that produce electricity. Then the questionnaire identifies adult Lebanese population that are responsible for high expenses to electricity bills from the governmental and private electric supplies during blackouts, and how much they pay for it. Usually people that pay higher bills are the people that aim to reduce their bills by any means. And for what reasons might the people be willing to use solar photovoltaic panels such as reduced costs and environmental protection. Since the photovoltaic panels installation costs high what are the usage forms of the electricity produced such as primary or secondary usage .then the questionnaire aimed towards asking how much does a reduced solar energy panel will encourage the population to install photovoltaic panels so that it is worth the money being paid .if photovoltaic panels are utilized efficiently it will yield high percentage savings in comparing to regular electricity supplies . since people that know how much Solar photovoltaic panels save in comparing to fuel generated electricity are the people who will be more aimed to be encouraged by the governmental subsidies Since the Lebanon a part of third world country are the populations willing to buy or get a loan from banks to install photovoltaic panels. The research question was answered by interpreting the results gained the percentage of people that will be more encouraged to install Solar energy panels after the reduced cost by the government subsidies.
Lebanese government should Implement a policy that reduces the cost of Photovoltaic Panels to encourage Solar energy in Households
The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of Solar Energy Policy regarding the Photovoltaic panel usage in Lebanon?
1- What is your monthly household electricity bill?
?Not responsible for bills
2- Do you have any alternative electricity power to your household?
?Independent fuel generator
?Solar Energy (Photovoltaic Panel)
3- Have you thought about saving or reducing electricity in your household?
4- What reasons will encourage you to save/reduce your electricity bill?
? Environmental protection
5- Do you know how much photovoltaic panels cost in Lebanon?
6- Would you think about installing P.V. panels to your household?
7- How would you utilize the electricity produced from P.V. panels?
? As a primary source of electricity (instead of fuel generator)
? As a secondary source of electricity (when governmental electricity is unavailable)
? As a source to run a certain utility in your household
8- Would a governmental policy subsidy to reduce the P.V. panel taxes encourage you to use solar energy?
9- Do you think that photovoltaic panels price is worth saving money for the long run?
10- How much do you think that P.V. panels will save compared to generators?
? Not Sure
11- What other benefits does the P.V. panels provide?
? Save Money
? Less Noise
? Less Pollution
12- Do you know that banks provide very low interest rate on photovoltaic panel loans?
13- Would you consider getting a loan from a bank to purchase photovoltaic panels?
The questionnaire survey was answered by forty participants of the qualified people to the study that aims to understand whether the governmental subsidy and taxes will promote the photovoltaic panels to the Lebanese society, the research questionnaire findings address the advantages and disadvantages of the outcome.
Figure 1 reducing electricity use
the results of the first question are about separating people that are responsible for their electricity bills in which 65% of the participants were responsible for their household bills. the average house hold bills is around 100-200 U.S dollars per month.
Figure 2 P.V. panels V.S fuel utility
95% of the participants were dependent on fuel powered electric generators.
Figure 3 reducing electricity use
Another question was aimed to identify the people that are looking for ways or the means to save or reduce electricity and for what reasons.
Figure 4 measures to save on electricity bills
By figure 3 and 4 ,70 % of the participants are looking for means to reduce their electricity bills and 80% are both understanding to the reasons that they want to reduce their bill by the cost, and environmental reasons equally.
Figure 5 P.V. panels cost
By the results from figure 5 people apparently are don’t know the financials for photovoltaic panels and the only people who know the price are the ones who were already encouraged to use and have installed solar energy photovoltaic panels.
Figure 6 intentions to install
Although the 95% of the participants are unaware of the exact price of the photovoltaic panels, none of the participants was Unwilling to install or use photovoltaic panels.
Figure 7 excess energy utilization
Since people are not much aware of photovoltaic panels efficiency most of the participants were aiming to use photovoltaic panels as a secondary source of power in the certain situation where the official governmental electricity is shut down. and other twenty percent are willing to completely rely on photovoltaic panel to produce energy for their household. another 20% of the participants are willing to use photovoltaic panels to power supply a certain household utility.
Figure 8 governmental subsidy
Almost all the participants except very few were not willing to be encouraged by the governmental policy that will reduce the price of the photovoltaic panels.
Figure 9 P.V. panels long run advantage
None of the participants were negative about the potential of photovoltaic panels in saving money on the long run although some of them were not sure because they don’t know much about the efficiency of photovoltaic panels.
Figure 10 fuel V.S P.V. panels efficiency
Figure 10 shows how much the participants compare the photovoltaic panel electricity power and the fuel powered electric generator in the matter of the economy.
Figure 11 additional benefits of P.V. panels
The figure above shows the knowledge of general information about the photovoltaic panels technology and what are the advantages that photovoltaic panels provide in comparison to the fuel generators.
Figure 12 banks efforts for P.V. panels loan
The participants apparently don’t know a lot about the governmental policies that promote green energy and how the banks provide low interest on photovoltaic panels investment. only 25 percent have heard or know about such plans that banks in Lebanon provide.
Figure 13 Bank loan solution for P.V. panels price
The figure above shows how much does the participants are encouraged or looking for the means to finance photovoltaic panels.
By the results from the figures the participants tend to show more interest in financial reasons as well as environmental reasons as an encouragement, but they lack detailed knowledge of the photovoltaic panels potential as an efficient replacement to fuel generators. the data above also shows how participants as a part of Lebanese population show tendency to replace the fuel generators but lacking the means to do so.
The research problem that tackles the importance of governmental subsidy taxes to promote photovoltaic panel utilization in Lebanon can be observed by the results yielded from the study.
By the data collected from the results of the questionnaire answered by qualified participants, the Lebanese population show great interest in using photovoltaic panels to produce electricity. For many reasons shown in the results but mainly for reducing cost and protecting the environment equally. This shows how the Lebanese show understanding for how the environment protection is as important as saving money. But apparently, it’s clear that the Lebanese people need more information about photovoltaic panels. Even with this little or none knowledge of the photovoltaic panels the participants in the study showed that they consider photovoltaic panels as a renewable energy alternative for electrical production. The unexpected result of utilization of the PV panels was that 75% of the participants in the study considered to utilize the electricity produced by the P.V. panels as a secondary source during the black out, in which will only replace the private generators and not the governmental electricity distributed. Although the regular generators used during electrical blackouts are also huge contributors to the damage done to the environment since the governmental electricity is off for many hours during the day (Khoury, et al., 2016). People will be more encouraged to use and install photovoltaic panels if they are aware of a governmental policy that aims directly to reduce the taxes and cost of photovoltaic panels. another step to encourage the Lebanese population towards the photovoltaic panels is showing the true potential in saving money since half of the participants showed that it will save less than 50% percent of ordinary fuel generators. Since they showed interest in reducing electricity costs, only twenty percent of the participants in the study were observed to have knowledge of the photovoltaic panels potential as a substitution to the fuel generators since photovoltaic panels can save around 75% in comparison to fuel generator if properly utilized, promoting this potential of saving capacity in comparison to the fuel generators will push people to utilize photovoltaic panels. In the study participants also showed great knowledge of the advantages of the PV panels in the matter of environmental potential where 90% of the people showed the effect of the Solar energy in protecting the environment. In a similar study by Khoury, et.al., (2016) argues that the Lebanese governments efforts to promote green energy are not efficient till today. In the present study the data shows that75% percent of the participants did not know about any financial efforts of the governmental central bank to provide low interest on photovoltaic panels, which will encourage the 70 % of the people according to the same study to have plans by the bank loans to install the photovoltaic panels.
Therefore, the best practice to be applied in Lebanon that will encourage people to use photovoltaic panels is first to have more advertising about the potential of the photovoltaic panels as a substitution for the fuel generators and secondly to more efficient efforts by the government by a policy that will reduce the cost of the photovoltaic panels.
In conclusion this study investigated the relation between the environment and solar energy P.V. panels use in Lebanon. Many factors have been considered in this study such as the Lebanese government, the Lebanese population, the Lebanese geography limitations and potentials, the popularity of the photovoltaic panels, and the efficiency of the photovoltaic panels in comparison to the fuel generated electricity. This paper also compares other third world countries that tackle the same matter of the governmental efforts for a better environment. The results show the importance of governmental effort through raising popularity of the photovoltaic panels by policies and subsidies that will encourage the Lebanese population in installing the solar energy photovoltaic panels to produce clean energy electricity that will stop the environmental damage done by the fuel supplied electricity generators. This study shows how the photovoltaic panels will be a major step in protecting the damaged environment by promoting photovoltaic panels. Further study is necessary to show the importance of photovoltaic panels as a permanent replacement for polluting non-renewable energy sources such as the fuel, and the efficiency of the photovoltaic panels as a primary source to electricity, additional studies could also show the economical positive results that can impact on third world countries.