Lebanon’s Energy and Water Minister Gebran Bassil said Saturday that “solving the electricity problem needs a bold, strategic and clear decision by the government in order to face the ongoing major deficiency.”
He revealed that he prepared a plan of ” ten points, among them three related to renewable energy, in addition to the proper management of (power) demand and effective energy.”
“Solving the electricity problem doesn’t depend on renewable energy only because renewable energy is a complementary and alternative solution to all means of power generation and its reliability is on the rise around the globe, especially in the Mediterranean.
“The major reliance in this regard will be on the individual, the Lebanese society and individual initiatives, which are the basis of every economic progress in Lebanon, the thing that highlights the dynamism of the individual and the society. As the Lebanese citizen resorted to power generators to solve the crisis of electricity, he has to consider renewable energy today,” Bassil concluded.
On Friday, Bassil called on a number of ministers, MPs and political figures to pay their overdue electric bills worth around LBP 12 billion, giving them one-month deadline.
At a press conference he held at the ministry, Bassil revealed that citizens in addition to politicians owe the state-owned power company Electricité du Liban (EDL) around LBP 1.987 billion, stressing that “these arrears will be gradually treated and this is a difficult but urgent issue.”
He said that Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar is “seriously cooperating” in the issue of taking legal measures against individuals who steal electricity from the state’s power network and fraudulent EDL employees.
During the press conference Bassil , a key member of the Free patriotic movement which is allied with Hezbollah did not talk about the fact that Hezbollah members and supporters have refused for years to pay for electricity charges. According to observers many bill collectors that tried to collect for electricity charges in Hezbollah stronghold in Dhahia , a suburb of the capital Beirut were attacked, killed or mugged