Though Lebanon sits in a region with vast oil resources, the country itself has no petroleum deposits on its own territory. The depressed economic situation, massive debt, and poor energy management lead to frequent (in most places daily) electricity outages. At my house, in the heart of Beirut, we have had rotating daily outages of at least 3-hours every single day for the past few years. During times of political trouble, high energy consumption, or oil shortages, the outages can be longer and/or more frequent. Outside of the municipality of Beirut, the situation is much worse.
Beyond the electricity shortages, there are also several problems related to air quality and pollution.
How fitting and important it is, therefore, to shift Lebanon (and the region) towards alternative and sustainable energy generation. An exciting development is the research and project done out of the American University of Beirut as part of a solar car project. Dubbed the "first in the Arab world", we certainly hope it is not the last!