So there I was sitting on a Lebanese friend’s terrace on Friday night when the conversation turns to the subject of solar energy, something we Lebanese should really be embracing for a million reasons – well three obvious reasons really: it’s clean; it’s cheap and it’s efficient – in a land that boasts over 320 days of sunshine.
But we are woefully inefficient and wildly corrupt. Readers familiar with day-to-day life in Lebanon will also know that a quarter of a century after the civil war ended, there is nowhere in the country that enjoys 24-hour electricity and in some rural areas the ration is as little as eight hours a day.
My host makes up for her shortfall in government electricity by cranking up a massive Chinese diesel generator. But on this particular evening, the local power station clearly couldn’t decide if it was giving us power or not and so we kept alternating between light and darkness with the generator unable to decide what to do.