- Title: Lebanese find solar alternative solutions to power shortages
- Date: 30th August 2021
- Summary: SEHAYLEH, LEBANON (AUGUST 25, 2021) (REUTERS) (PART MUTE) VARIOUS OF DRONE FOOTAGE SHOWING SOLAR PANELS ON A ROOFTOP (MUTE) (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGER OF MECTRIC ENGINEERS, ALAIN BOU NASR, SAYING: "In the past couple of months, the phone is always busy. We had to grow our installing teams from two to four, because there are more people going for this (solution), they had to because there is no electricity so they are obliged to call us and install (solar) systems." VARIOUS OF OPERATIONS MANAGER AT MECTRIC ENGINEERS, ELIAS DAOU, CHECKING BATTERIES LINKED TO SOLAR PANELS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGER OF MECTRIC ENGINEERS, ALAIN BOU NASR, SAYING: "I would say, unfortunately people waited for this (fuel) crisis to switch to an alternative power that is clean and profitable, everything about it is positive. For sure, it doesn't work for everyone because it needs space on the roof and a technical space for batteries and inverters, but for those who have it, it is unfortunately sad we reached this (referring to crises) to be ready to do it (install solar power). On the positive side, people got to know this (solution) and discovered that in Lebanon, we have more than 300 sunny days and we can rely on sun for more than 10 months a year, this is positive, people are starting to install. We hope this stays on people's minds across generations." KHALDEH, LEBANON (AUGUST 25, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SOLAR PANELS INSTALLED ON BUILDINGS' ROOFTOPS BEIRUT, LEBANON (AUGUST 26, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SOLAR PANELS INSTALLED NEAR ROADS IN BEIRUT SUBURBS
- Embargoed: 13th September 2021 12:37
- Keywords: Lebanon crisis electricity fuel crisis power solar
- Location: KHALDEH, SEHAYLEH AND BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: KHALDEH, SEHAYLEH AND BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Middle East,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA004ESH27NR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Amid a worsening fuel crisis in Lebanon and increasing power blackouts, Lebanese citizen Mohammad Chehab found relief in installing solar power supply in his house to provide him and his family with around-the-clock electricity.
As the country suffers what the World Bank has described as one of the deepest depressions of modern history, shortages of fuel this month have meant state-powered electricity has been available for barely a few hours a day if at all.
"The pressure and stress we feel from electricity cuts, be it from the family or yourself coming home to no power, no light and no cold water to drink especially during the summer, is in itself a good reason to look for an alternative source of electricity," the drone operator in his thirties said.
The renewable energy solution, although not new to Lebanon and the world, has become more popular in Lebanon in recent months despite a deepening economic and financial crisis that has hit the small Middle Eastern country.
One company that installs solar panel systems, Mectric Engineers, had to double their installing teams from two to four. According to its co-founder and manager Alain Bou Nasr, half of people who now call them for information are buying it - in comparison with "maybe 5%" earlier.
"Unfortunately people waited for this crisis to switch to an alternative power that is clean and profitableâ€¦ On the positive side, people got to know this (solution) and discovered that in Lebanon, we have more than 300 sunny days and we can rely on sun for more than 10 months a year, this is positive, people are starting to install," Bou Nasr said.
Lebanon's worsening fuel crisis has reached a painful crunch point, with bakeries, businesses and hospitals either scaling back operations or shutting down completely, making life even harder for Lebanese already enduring a financial meltdown.
As the fuel oil that powers Lebanon has disappeared from the market, Lebanese have sweltered at home in the summer heat without light or AC, routinely tossing out the contents of fridges while having to set aside hours to fill up the car - if increasingly scarce gasoline can be found.
Many say living conditions are worse than during the 1975-90 civil war.
It marks a new low in the financial crisis that erupted in late 2019, the result of decades of corruption and mismanagement by a ruling elite that has failed to find solutions as more than half the population has sunk into poverty.
(Production: Alaa Kanaan, Ahmad al-Kerdi, Imad Creidi, Yara Abi Nader)
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