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November 17, 2021 | 11 Pages | English | Neil McCulloch
Tackling Lebanon’s Electricity Crisis: Lessons from Yemen

Lebanon’s electricity system is in a deep crisis. Power from Electricite du Liban (EDL)—the insolvent state-run utility—is now available for barely two hours a day, as the population has to rely on increasingly expensive diesel generators for power. In light of this crisis, it is useful to learn lessons from other countries that have faced similar circumstances. One such country is Yemen. Lebanon’s situation is, fortunately, not yet as dire as that facing the people of Yemen, where war has been raging since 2015.But the very different responses to the collapse of Yemen’s electricity system from the two authorities fighting for control over the country reveal some important and relevant lessons for Lebanon.
This brief outlines the Yemeni experience following the collapse of its electricity sector and derives lessons to be learnt for Lebanon. It discusses the approaches taken by the authorities controlling different parts of the country to address a near breakdown in service, notably the Houthi administration in the North, who fully liberalized the market, and the Internationally Recognized Government (IRG) in the South, who maintained a state monopoly on energy production and a highly subsidized tariff.

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