Imagine for a second that Washington D.C., London, Brussels or Denmark ran out of power for up to nine hours every single day for the last week or so. And then imagine (if it will stretch that far)that most of the country has been experiencing such cuts for the last eight years. This is Lebanon’s reality right now, and it offers a cautionary tale.
Like Israel, Morocco and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in the Middle East, Lebanon doesn’t generate enough energy to supply its own country’s demand.
Currently generation capacity stands at roughly 1400MW, according to the Daily Star, while demand hovers around 2500MW.
For the last eight years, rural areas have been crippled by extreme power cuts, but it is unusual for eight to nine hour cuts to reach the capital – Beirut – the country’s cultural, financial and political hub.
Electricité du Liban reports that bad weather is to blame for the extreme power cuts this week, and repairs to the stricken Zahrani and Deir Ammar plants have been completed, adding 34 MW to the national grid as a result.
This combined with the Fatmagül fuel barge’s limited capacity caused by contaminated fuel supplied by EDL has forced the Minister of Energy to ration power over the last week – leaving the capital without energy for nearly half of every day.
Businesses, homes, retailers and anyone else without a backup generator of some sort have been forced to pause their operations, though EDL announced that service would be restored “soon.”
Turkey is sending another energy-generating sea barge in June, which should bring the capacity of both to approximately 270MW. This should in turn ease rationing by at least three hours per day, according to the Daily Star.
Image of Beirut, Shutterstock