24 Jan 2017
Zahlé, Lebanon, Lebanon
Renewable energy and energy efficiency

Green Essence Lebanon was founded by three passion-driven entrepreneurs looking to become leaders in renewable energy. Today they help businesses and clients transform their lives by switching to solar energy solutions.

Even though they all grew up in Zahle city, young entrepreneurs and engineers Saad Maakaron, Tony Zaatar, and Francois Farage first met in 2000 while completing military service. They bonded over their shared interests and desire to start a project or business of their own.

During their free time, Saad, Tony, and Francois began exploring different business opportunities. First they tried out industrial automation for a few years, but soon realized they wanted to become leaders in a new field. Aware of the environmental and social benefits of solar energy, they set out to prove the business potential of solar power in Lebanon.

For decades Lebanon has depended upon oil to provide electricity and power their economy. After the civil war, the public electricity company struggled to cope with increasing energy demand throughout the country. Communities often suffer from blackouts and fuel shortages, and high electricity costs remain a concern for most people. The potential market for solar energy in Lebanon is strong, and these solutions can make immediate impact in improving people’s lives.

Saad, Tony, and Francois took the next step in their journey by launching their first pilot project in solar energy. They bought and built a solar water heater system, tracking the savings to their electricity bill as well as the environmental impacts, such as the reduction in fossil fuel and CO2 emissions.

With the success of their pilot project, Saad, Tony, and Francois founded Green Essence Lebanon in 2005. They began offering holistic, customized renewable energy systems, including solar water heaters, solar panels, and solar water pumps. Their business started to grow slowly through word of mouth.

At a time when Lebanon’s solar energy industry was in its early stages, Said, Tony, and Francois took on the challenge of growing Lebanon’s solar energy industry from the ground up. They launched a community engagement project in 2012 to spread awareness of the benefits of renewable energy. They outfitted a mobile truck with solar water heaters, solar panels, and wind turbines and visited cities and towns across Lebanon. People finally had the opportunity see these systems in action and learn how they generate reliable, clean energy.

In recent years, due to the falling prices of solar energy and increased funding and awareness, the renewable energy industry in Lebanon has taken off. Green Essence Lebanon’s small team has expanded into an energetic team of 12 experts trained to install and maintain solar energy systems.

 

As their company continues to grow, Green Essence Lebanon has worked with businesses and farms to switch from diesel fuel to renewable energy, reducing their electricity bills and lowering their environmental impact. Among the first businesses to start believing in solar energy were a wheat mill, Mathanit Kassouf, and a wood press factory, Fadi & Dany. Both companies need large amounts of energy to power their industrial processes, and they now use solar water heaters to generate the energy they need.

Green Essence Lebanon also helped the first plastic recycling company FRWI utilize clean energy to power the recycling process. The company was spending so much money on diesel fuel each month that they almost went out of business. Solar energy helped FRWI become profitable again and strengthen their commitment to environmental sustainability.

For Sakr farm in North Bekaa, Green Essence Lebanon undertook one of their most exciting, innovative projects yet. Working with international suppliers, they custom-designed and built one of the largest solar water pumps in the Middle East. The pump transports water, located 300 meters underground, over four kilometers to irrigate the farm’s potato and wheat crops.

The project immediately saved the farm money, reducing irrigation and energy costs by 60% and provided a reliable supply of water for its crops. Many companies in Lebanon and Egypt now use the same designs to build solar water pumping solutions for their agricultural clients.

Green Essence Lebanon estimates that its projects have saved close to 1,000 tons of CO2 emissions in 2016, equivalent to planting 26,000 trees. You can track their impact on the environment through a mobile app. To gain access, contact saad@greenessencelebanon.com.

As Lebanon makes strides towards expanding the renewable energy industry in the next five years, the potential for solar energy to create positive change is stronger than ever. Now leaders in their field, Green Essence Lebanon hopes to continue working with businesses, farms, and local communities to transform their lives through clean energy.

“Building a better environment does not happen overnight. We believe in making small steps everyday towards a better environment starting from the local community to the world.”Green Essence
Transforming Lebanon through solar energy | The Switchers
Green Essence Renewable Energy
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