Solar ‘boom’ times as Lebanon’s fossil fuels run dry

Solar ‘boom’ times as Lebanon’s fossil fuels run dry

With electricity becoming a scarce commodity, thousands of well-off Lebanese rush to alternative energy.

In recent weeks, blackouts have enveloped Lebanon, forcing the entire country to adjust to life without electricity.

Electricity provided by the state-owned Electricité du Liban has been reduced to two hours per day and has been totally shut off in some areas of the country due to the government’s failure to secure heavy fuel oil for power plants.

The remaining 22 hours of the day are now covered by privately owned diesel generators, which normally mentioned a three-hour gap in government-supplied power.

Due to high demand and a shortage of imports, acute fuel scarcity has developed, feeding a black market that sells hoarded fuel at prices that the majority of Lebanon cannot afford. In an attempt to alleviate the scarcity, the government has lowered diesel fuel subsidies and moved to enable direct importation, but the only result has been near four-fold price increases.

For enough electricity to keep a family home cool through the hot summer nights, generator subscription prices have risen to astronomical levels, reaching as high as $375 on the parallel currency exchange market. Those who can afford to pay these exorbitant fees are still subjected to daily power outages as generator owners try to save money.

There are times when there is just no diesel available, and they are forced to sit sweating in the dark, unsure if the food in their refrigerators has been kept cold enough to be safe to eat.


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