National or International Assessing Blockchain Based Enablers for Local Renewable Energy Micro-Grids.


Location : Beirut, LEBANON
Application Deadline :03-Jul-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :30 working days spread over 3 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :30 working days spread over 3 months

Background

General Economic and Employment Situation
The Syrian crisis has had a severe impact on the Lebanese economy at all levels, negatively affecting the
key sectors such as trade, tourism and hospitality, real estate, energy and construction. As a result, the
unemployment rate in Lebanon has reached approximately 20 per cent, twice the number pre-2011
according to World Bank estimates, with the highest ratios among the youth reaching 34%. Even low wage
jobs are becoming harder to find, partly due to the mass influx of refugees from Syria (c.a. 50% increase of
the labour supply, with the majority of them being low to semi-skilled workers). Moreover, a World Bank
study in 2012 estimated that there will be an average of 23,000 new entrants to the labour market each year over the next 10 years and the economy would need to create more than 6 times the number of jobs it is currently creating to absorb them. Thus, the job creation is the critical challenge that Lebanon is facing.
Energy Sector Status
The situation of Lebanese Electricity sector is alarming and placing a heavy burden on the national economy due to its inefficiencies. With electricity tariffs heavily subsidized, these expenses substantially contribute to the country’s national debt through the financial deficit of the state-owned power utility Electricité Du Liban (EDL). This situation has been exacerbated with the continuous influx of refugees in the wake of the Syrian crisis. Since EDL is still unable to provide 24/7 electricity supply, citizens and companies are forced to use pollutive and expensive private generator.
While the necessary reform of electricity sector is yet to be implemented, Renewable Energy (RE) can contribute to a potential solution to overcome some of these challenges while creating employment opportunities. The government of Lebanon has been active in setting targets for the improvement of the country’s energy efficiency and the increase of the RE capacity through the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP), and the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP), respectively. Driven by the continuous cost decrease of solar PV systems and other renewable energy technologies and the presence of the national financial mechanism called NEEREA (the National Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Action), the renewable energy sector in Lebanon has witnessed the significant growth of private investment. RE is expected to provide direct employment opportunities for people at all qualification levels as demonstrated in the installation of distributed solar PV system (UNDP, 2017 and 2018). In addition, renewable energy deployment will promote money circulation within the country by reducing fuel import and induce an immediate and long-lasting annual net benefit on national economy with a multiplier effect on GDP growth, resulting in the improvement of employment situation indirectly.
Renewable Energy Value Chain in Lebanon
UNDP’s Livelihoods and Local Economic Development Strategy seeks to address the challenges faced by Lebanon, in light of the Syrian crisis, in relation to the deteriorating economic conditions in the country and the increasing unemployment rates, poverty levels and consequently social instability, particularly in the most vulnerable host communities. This includes the roll out of initiatives that develop and strengthen key value chains in Lebanon at different level (i.e. policy, strategy, incentive, networking, use of new technology, and innovation etc.)
Considering the above-mentioned potential benefits of positive environmental impacts as well as potential for job creation, UNDP has prioritized renewable energy (RE) as a key value chain to be supported in the coming years and undertaken system-wide value chain assessment of RE (UNDP, 2018) to identify necessary interventions to strengthen renewable energy value chain and to capture the employment opportunities in RE1. In the study, three value chains were prioritised: Solar Photo-Voltaic, Wind Energy and Bio Energy. The selection of these three-value chain has been done considering the potential in terms of
1 UNDP (2018). Renewable Energy Sector in Lebanon – Value Chain Assessment and Analysis.
job creation, the potential of contributing to solutions for the challenges from the Lebanese energy system, and the feasibility in terms of realization potential. The study concludes that more than 20,000 jobs could result from the deployment of renewable energy systems by 2021 under the optimistic scenario. The bulk of this number (14,000 – 18,000) is found in the PV sector, from distributed as well as from large PV installation, with or without batteries.
The RE value chain assessment provides a broad range of recommendations for national and local government, research institutes, and RE private sector including strategies, investment promotion, and training. Among these recommendations, three priority actions are identified on the basis of their bottom-up, actionable, innovative characteristics:(1) Promoting research and development in the sector along with pilot projects, (2) Promoting companies that work on hybrid renewable energy systems, and (3) Enhancing know-how in the sector through education and training. The study also implies that Lebanon may even be well positioned to play a role on an international level in the unique area of hybrid renewable system through these interventions.
In light of these recommendations, UNDP stuarted to address these recommendations by initiating a voacational training and job placement in PV to support 150 youth. This call for proposals address the other recommendation in terms of innovation to promote and make micro-grid2 and hybrid3,4,5 systems more applicable. It deals with blokchain-based applications to govern, operate and monitor micro-grids system in Lebanese communities in an efficient and transparent manner. These micro-grids and hybrid systems are characterized by having at least one main renewable energy generation source (mainly solar PV), one optional battery energy storage system (BESS), and the needed information and communication technology (ICT) components. This call envisages that the proposed blockchian-based solutions will contribute to the market expansion of the micro-grid and hybrid system by removing the barriers preventing these systems from being more widely adopted. This will ultimately lead to improve employment opportunties along the renewable energy value chain as well as creating new linkage between ICT sector and the renewable energy sector in Lebanon.


Duties and Responsibilities

The work will span over a period of 3 months (30 working days) and will include the following:
Task 1: Identification of the applicable blockchain-based solutions for renewable energy-based local micro-girds/hybrid systems.
The power sector in Lebanon is a complex structure consisting of multiple stakeholders. The sector is considered to have a poor overall working condition with some unorthodox operations (especially the PV-Diesel-Grid-Storage hybrid configuration). The end goal of this task is to, after studying the local constraints and regulations, identify present applicable blockchain-based solutions for renewable energy-based micro-gird/hybrid systems in Lebanon so that these renewable energy-based systems are to be more widely adopted by local consumes. The potential blockchain-based solutions can support the following process:
• Digitized accounting framework, billing and invoicing
• Energy production and consumption tracking and analytics
• System setup and streamlining installation and operation (plug-and-play solutions)
• Prosumer inclusion (e.g. Peer to peer renewable energy transaction)
• Other
Each proposed solution should address specific barriers to a broad penetration of the renewable energy-based micro-grid/hybrid systems. Thus, the report for this task should include the barriers to be addressed by each solution as well as its feasibility of implementation and scalability.
Task 2: Presenting a blockchain-based application for renewable energy-based micro-gird/hybrid systems for a hypothetical local community while accounting for the local context including laws, regulations and technical constraints.
Task 2 is to recommend, structure and present a theoretical pilot project that applies the identified solutions in a renewable energy-based micro-grid/hybrid system. This shall include detailed information and specification on the required resources and infrastructure (ICT and other) and should advantageously and tactically use the inherent aspects of blockchain technology (trust, traceability, security, etc.) in support of the relevant processes. Furthermore, the reporting should define key technical considerations and components, payment rules and regulation and key stakeholder roles and responsibilities.
For additional information, please refer to ANNEX I – Terms of Reference


Competencies

Functional Competencies:

  • Strong analytical and report-writing skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Commitment to team and cross-disciplinary work
  • Emphasis on delivery of results and reacts well to constructive criticism
  • Proficiency in English.

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Advocates and promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UN;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
  • Knowledge of the UN preferable.


Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, energy engineering/management, electric engineering, renewable energy, environment engineering or related field

Years of experience:

  •  Experience in blockchain application, development or research for at least 2 years.

Technical experience:

  • Relevant experience in assessment and feasibility study of blockchain utilization in the energy sector Minimum number of the assessment must be 2.
  • Relevant experience in designing, developing and deploying blockchain-based systems and applications for the energy sector. Minimum number the design and deployment must be 2.
  • Relevant experience in micro-grid system, energy management system or invoicing and allocation process is an asset
  • Knowledge of the energy sector and its relevant stakeholders in Lebanon is an asset.

How to apply:
The consultancy is open for all national and/or International consultants who meet the selection criteria and propose a competitive fee. Interested consultants are requested to apply only through this UNDP jobs portal.
Submissions through any other media will not be considered.
The application must include all of the following documents:
1. P11,
2. Technical Proposal,
3. Annex 3 (Offerors Letter) and
4. Financial proposal
All files shall be submitted in one single document and uploaded as word or PDF file to the UNDP job site.
It has been observed that bidders don’t submit all requested documents and thus reducing their chance to be selected for a contract with UNDP. before you submit your offer please revise that the application is complete and comprises all four (4) documents.


UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


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