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Accepted Paper:

Collaging the “Renewable Future” in Lebanon  
Ahmad Sultan (Cyprus International University) Nihal Soganci (Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences)

Paper Short Abstract:

In response to energy crises, this study delves into the compelled transition away from oil within the Lebanese community. We explore creative tactics born out of necessity while highlighting inherent contradictions and consequential errors, offering insights into a potential future without oil.

Paper Abstract:

Since 2019, Lebanon has faced significant challenges, marked by state default on public debt, resulting in widespread repercussions across the financial, societal, and infrastructural sectors. The Lebanese lira depreciated by 95%, the banking system teeters on collapse with frozen foreign currency accounts and increasing widespread poverty and precarity. Central Bank-imposed fuel import quotas have exacerbated power cuts, with national electricity grid supplying an average of 2-3 hours daily electricity, with a total blackout for two days in October 2021. (Chaplain & Verdeil,2023). Despite diesel generators supplying 84% of households in 2018(CAS, 2008; 2020), leading to what is often called “generator mafia”, the high costs have spurred a surge in a “patchwork” renewable energy sector, particularly through the increase of makeshift solar panel installations that one may even find provided by minimarkets. On this line, we will explore how the renewable energy sector is collaged and adapted amidst the country's crisis. The "patchers," comprised of less-experienced technicians who claim to comprehend the operational principles, regrettably proceed to implement unlicensed and substandard solar systems marketed as “cheaper” alternatives. Thus, in this paper through exploring how renewable energy practices are manipulated and adapted when access to oil has become highly limited, we offer a glimpse into how life without oil may come to be without the required infrastructure, transition process and financial and technical capabilities.

Panel P217
Life after oil? Undoing the contradictions of the energy transition [Environmental Anthropology Network (EAN)]
  Session 2 Wednesday 24 July, 2024, -