Alternative Energy with Rodrigue Saab

For the latest webinar from our Lebanon Growth Accelerator’s Speaker Series, we were joined by Rodrigue Saab, president, and CEO of US-based hi-tech advisory and solutions firm SAAB RDS Inc. We talked about how alternative energy systems can help in increasing efficiency / reducing consumption, and improving mechanisms for improved energy reliability in a distributed manner.⁠⁠

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Rodrigue is a serial entrepreneur, an engineer at heart, business visionary, technological innovator, and global business development authority. He is the president and CEO of SAAB RDS Inc, a US-based hi-tech advisory and solutions firm with additional trailblazing entrepreneurial developments in technology commercialization, industrial digital transformations, and emerging technologies.

Rodrigue is passionate about creating transformative opportunities and innovative hi-tech companies with social impact. He believes in people that dare to think big and are willing to invest time and effort to succeed. In his early career, Rodrigue built advanced CNC and medical research machines, smart grid and smart cities/infrastructure systems, industrial IoT systems, and renewable energy plants.

Rodrigue holds a senior executive leadership position from Harvard Business School, a master’s in engineering (AI and industrial controls) from the University of Technology of Compiegne, and an M. Sc. Electrical Engineering (Power Systems) from the Lebanese University.

Here are some highlights from our conversation with Rodrigue.

What is NET ZERO?

NET ZERO is about being able to have a strategic framework for energy management, as well as energy transmission and generation, in a clean efficient way that helps reduce the emission of carbon dioxide gas. When you’re an entity, whether a house, country, or facility, you can use the energy you have generated through clean energy and remove toxic gas from the atmosphere in case of over-generated energy.

Where does Lebanon stand in the race to NET ZERO? What are the immediate initiatives that could be implemented with or without the government?

There is a lack of awareness in Lebanon about that. The government does not regulate real estate developers or oblige them to comply with regulations related to energy efficiency in buildings. There are many initiatives privately driven by people who are into sustainability, but these initiatives are not regulated by policies. In addition, the government does not offer compensation, incentives nor financial rewards for initiatives dedicated to renewable energy.

Lebanon’s market in the renewable energy sector is very small, extremely volatile, unpredictable, and unreliable. Moreover, new talents are not ready to address challenges because capacity building is highly available but underdeveloped. Lebanese citizens are currently looking at sustaining their presence by striving for energy security more than its cost.

How much can implementing policies and launching new initiatives in renewable energy happen on a small scale in Lebanon?

The opportunity is not about generating energy. The gathering of small companies and service providers is needed to operate on a smaller scale by decomposing waste and sorting it, including automating waste through technology at the utility-scale level.

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