SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy


Energy is critical to nearly all of the great challenges and opportunities facing the world today. Be it for employment, security, climate change, food production or to increase income. Universal access to energy is essential. It is vital to support new economic and labor initiatives that ensure universal access to modern energy services, improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable sources to create more sustainable and inclusive communities and for resilience to environmental problems such as climate change.

However, progress in all areas of sustainable energy falls short of what is needed to achieve universal access and achieve the goals of SDG 7.

The use of renewable energy must be increased in sectors such as energy. heating and transportation. Likewise, public and private investments in energy are necessary; as well as higher levels of funding and policies with bolder commitments, as well as the willingness of countries to adopt new technologies on a much broader scale. SDG 7 aims to ensure access to affordable, safe, sustainable and efficient energy for all by investing in clean energy sources. To achieve this, the IUL has developed the following activities, which are shown below in this report.

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

SDG 7 aims at ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. To do so, the global rate of energy efficiency improvements should double and the percentage of renewables in the energy mix and should increase.

It is critical that the whole world should have access to clean energy and it should be affordable as well. All countries around the world have energy but it actually is not affordable by millions of people. This will indeed lead to problems in development and eventually to lower standards of living and more crime, poverty and extremism. It is the role of both the private sectors as represented by businesses and the public sectors to make sure that the economically deprived classes of people should have access to energy and at a price that is affordable to them. They should be charged differently on the energy consumption as compared to those that are more affluent.

More governmental programs should be initiated to provide people with the solar energy that is much needed as it is a clean one and affordable as well. This could be provided in cooperation with local financial companies that are willing to provide access to this clean energy with easy financing and lower interest rates.

Having access to clean sources of energy will make farming in poorer sectors of the world easier and more productive and as such farmers will make more money and they will enjoy a higher standard of living. Consequently, they will be able to expand their businesses and hire more people. Demand in the country will increase and eventually more businesses will be opened and the whole country will prosper and develop. Therefore, we see that as energy becomes cleaner and more affordable, the whole world will develop further and become more peaceful. In addition, the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” will become smaller and smaller.

The Islamic University of Lebanon (IUL) in its mission seeks to contribute to the development of society, it has taken into consideration the reduction of energy consumption and the integration of renewable energy.

To do so, the IUL is working on several levels as follows:

  1. The reduction of energy consumption at all IUL campuses.
  2. The integration of clean and renewable energy.
  3. The collaboration with the local community in supporting all initiatives that aim at developing new modes of energy consumption.
  4. Supporting scientific research initiatives that help in creating and developing new ways and tools for sustainable energy consumption.

IUL and affordable and clean energy

Energy consumption at IUL

IUL has already adopted the criteria of Green Buildings in Lebanon issued by the Order of Engineers and Architects as an energy policy to be used as a reference for future expansion of university buildings, especially the sections related to Energy Efficiency. To illustrate, the main elements taken into consideration are building Envelope, energy efficiency, artificial lighting, and heat recovery. Actually, the university is putting a plan to change non-compliant equipment in existing buildings and to improve energy efficiency. IUL is looking to benefit from government policies in the domain of energy.

Actually, the university is putting a plan to change non-compliant equipment in existing buildings and to improve the energy efficiency. These improvements include, but are not limited to:

  • Replacing old fluorescent tubes and Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) with light emitting diode (LED) technology.
  • Finalizing a study to implement solar photovoltaic panels on an area up to 1000 square meters in Wardanieh campus to provide clean and affordable energy.
  • Equipping common areas which are not regularly occupied with occupancy / Motion sensors. (study)
  • Replacing current energy storage lead-acid batteries to lithium-ion batteries.
  • Install smart meters at the level of each floor inside the buildings.

We have to mention here that some projects need foreign development aid on renewable energy. The university plans to benefit from official development assistance on electricity exchange with the EDL grid, by benefiting from related government policies.

IUL is committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by reducing the total electricity consumption, water, paper and fossil fuels. Regarding the electricity, the IUL plan is to provide affordable electricity to its facilities by relying totally on clean energy sources such as solar energy.

Furthermore, IUL has also adopted the Air Quality Protection Act issued by the Lebanese Parliament in order to reduce air pollution resulting from transportation and encouraging the employees to use fewer polluting fuels. It also ensures free transportation to students and ensures places in its parking for private buses. Also, the university is currently reviewing its energy consumption policy. As a result of this review, old buildings have been clearly categorized as agents of high energy consumption.

The university has put a plan to reduce overall energy consumption and to provide reliable electricity, the plan includes, but is not limited to:

  • As the buildings raised up to three floors only, it is prohibited to use elevators in the university except for people with special needs.
  • Replacing old fluorescent tubes and Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) with light emitting diode (LED) technology.
  • Reducing the water heating expenses by limiting its usage.
  • University staff are required to turn off their computers when work hours are over, also screens are set to be turned off automatically if unused after a certain time.
  • Eliminating vampire loads: idle electronics are not allowed to remain plugged in.
  • Staff are required to turn off the lights when offices or classrooms are not in use, also encouraging them to rely on natural lighting whenever possible.
  • Using shades on the windows during hot summer days, this will help to keep the heat out.
  • Setting the air conditioner at 25ºC to decrease their power consumption.
  • Install ceiling fans in places that are not exposed to direct sunlight. Ceiling fans have less environmental impact.
  • Upgrade the current grid to be a smart micro-grid by installing new technological equipment to monitor power flows from points of generation to points of consumption in real time.

According to the review undertook by the university to identify areas where energy wastage is highest, old buildings have been clearly categorized as foci of weak energy efficiency. The future renovation of these buildings shall take into consideration the criteria of green buildings to improve their energy efficiency and to increase the energy conservation. Currently, plans are into preparation to:

  • Replace all windows with Low-emissivity ENERGY STAR windows.
  • Replace lifts motor generator sets with modern energy efficient types.

The energy access to all the campuses of the university (Wardanieh, Baalbak, Khaldeh, Tyr) comes from three sources, the first is provided by EDL grid (Electricité Du Liban), the Lebanese public electricity provider, the second from local university generators and the third from the renewable energy sources:

  • Electricity consumed from EDL and from university generators (Figure ‎3.1): 2,184,679 KW = 2,184,6 MW.
  • Total energy produced from renewable sources (available only at Wardanieh campus): 21,600 KW.
  • The total electricity usage per year in the different campuses is equal to 2,206,279 KW
Figure 1. Total energy consumption in all campuses for the academic year 2018-2019

Figure ‎2 shows the map of Khaldeh main campus, Figure ‎3 shows the map of Tyre campus, Figure ‎4 illustrates the map of Baalback campus and Figure ‎5 shows the map of Wardanieh buildings. Table 1 highlights the campuses building area.


Buildings Area (m2)









Total Area


Figure 2. Khaldeh Campus – Buliding area.
Figure 3. Tyre Campus – Building area
Figure 4. Baalback Campus – Building area
Figure 5. Wardanieh Campus – Buildings area

Collaboration with the local community

IUL is collaborating with the local community by helping them learn about the relevance of energy efficiency and clean energy technology through the participation in activities, seminars and workshops organized by the concerned associations and ministries. To illustrate, the staff members of IUL have participated in several events and workshops to promote the use of renewable energy.

IUL also provides direct services to local industry aimed at improving energy efficiency and clean energy (energy efficiency assessments, workshops, research renewable energy options). It has contributed to many collaborative projects with the Lebanese industry under the umbrella of LIRA projects (Lebanese Industrial Research Achievements). Some of these projects aimed to improve energy efficiency and clean energy. The IUL also gives the industrialists access to the labs of the Faculty of Engineering for testing and research purposes. The labs used for this intent are Power Electronics lab, Control Labs, Electronics Labs.

The university represented by its staff members have participated in several events and workshops to promote the use of renewable energy on country scale, especially that in the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit, the Lebanese government made a pledge to develop renewable energy production capacity to reach 12% of the total electricity supply by 2020. These events have been managed either by the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW), the Lebanese Center of Energy Conservation (LCEC) or by the Order of Engineers and Architects (OEA).  The following are some of these events:

  • International Beirut Energy Forum (IBEF) from 2015 till 2019, organized by MoEW and LCEC.

  • Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Industry, organized by OEA, May 02, 2014.

  • “Solar Process Heating in Lebanon: Opportunities & Key Factors for Quick Assessments”, organized by OEA, March 14, 2016.

  • An Insight on Pro-Green, OEA, July 26, 2016.

  • Building Integrated Solar Technologies, organized by OEA, June 19, 2018.

Sustainability for Lebanon, organized by OEA, October 11, 2019

Scientific research

At the level of scientific research, the members of the faculty of Engineering have published several papers in international conferences. The university also puts all its scientific capabilities at the service of society and the government. In this context, the academic staff is always ready to help, in their fields of research, to support the government to develop clean energy and energy-efficient technology policy. To illustrate, the university co-finances a project in collaboration with the CNRS-L (Lebanese National Scientific Research Center) to solve the traffic on Beirut roads, and consequently, affect the carbon footprint.

Conclusion and future perspectives:

The future renovation of the IUL buildings shall take into consideration the criteria of green buildings to improve their energy efficiency and to increase energy conservation. Currently, the IUL is planning to replace all high energy consumption facilities with low energy ones.

At the level of renewable energy sources, a life-cycle assessment is under preparation to choose the best renewable source (in addition to the installed solar panels) suitable to be used on some campuses of the university.

IUL aims at making an energy transition of a part of its electricity to “green” power in order to minimize carbon footprint. To do so, the IUL is preparing studies to establish hybrid renewable energy systems to produce power from clean renewable sources such as the sun and wind, rather than oil, and using clean fuel whenever possible.

The Islamic University of Lebanon will continue to do the following among others:

  1. Ensuring free public transportation for its students.
  2. Organize events and conferences to promote the concepts of renewable energy.
  3. Organize campaigns to raise the awareness of local communities.
  4. Support initiatives aiming at developing new modes of energy consumption.
  5. Integrate the concepts of green energy and renewable energy in its curricula.
  6. Administer and organize webinars about reducing energy consumption and adopting renewable energy.