RUL Report #2.1. Taking Control of the Energy Crisis: Proposing a community-owned solar panel system in Beirut, Lebanon

Seema Machaca

Beirut, the capital of Lebanon is home to diverse communities and has a rich and lively culture. Spending the majority of my summers in Beirut since I was a child, has given me insights into the love people have for the city, but also the daily struggles of Beirut citizens since the 15-year civil war started in 1975. More recently, Lebanon has simultaneously been dealing with five crises which are
heavily centred around governmental mismanagement (Moore, 2023). These include the Syrian refugee, economic meltdown, and post-covid crises; as well as dealing with the aftermath of the August 2020 Beirut port explosion and the
continual effects of climate change. In fact, the World Bank (2021) listed Lebanon as one of the top 3 countries experiencing the most severe crises since the mid 1900s. These crises combined, specifically, the lack of effective governance and severe economic crisis have resulted in an almost complete loss of electricity in the city. I do not pretend to understand the full extent to which the communities
in Beirut have been affected by my short yearly stays in Lebanon, however, I will attempt to provide community-led alternative solutions to the energy crisis that move away from government involvement, the root cause of the current
conditions in Lebanon.

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