Syria is experiencing a power crisis compounded by a wider economic collapse triggered by the war-Zamkuwire - Zamkuwire.com

Syria is experiencing a power crisis compounded by a wider economic collapse triggered by the war-Zamkuwire

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A man sits next to a solar unit in the rebel-held town of Douma, on the eastern outskirts of Damascus, Syria.

Syria is experiencing a power crisis compounded by a wider economic collapse triggered by the war, sanctions, and a currency meltdown

Facing crippling electricity cuts, some Syrians have turned to solar power, a reflection of the deep energy crisis in the country after 11 years of war.

Syria’s state infrastructure is devastated by the war, which spiraled out of an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in 2011 and has since killed more than 350,000 people, according to the United Nations.

Ibrahim al-Akzam, a Damascus dentist, was among those who have turned to solar power, which shields him from the rolling blackouts of the ruined state grid as well as the rising cost of scarce fuel to operate a private generator.

“Moving to alternative energy is the best solution at present,” said the 41-year-old, who spent nearly $7,000 on the installation.

AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, File
AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, FileMen try to get gasoline at a gas station in downtown Idlib, northern Syria.

But al-Akzam is one of the lucky ones.

Those still relying on the public grid or private generators have been hit hard in recent weeks: Severe diesel shortages forced the state to ration fuel distribution, telecom towers to cut network access, and public institutions to shorten their work weeks.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra, File
AP Photo/Khalil Hamra, FileA Syrian man walks behind two containers full of diesel (L) and gasoline for sale in the village of Atmeh, near the Turkish border with Syria.

The power crisis has also been compounded by an economic collapse triggered by the conflict, Western sanctions, a currency meltdown, and the government’s loss of its northeastern oil-producing territories to opposition groups. Damascus is encouraging more investment in renewable power and is offering incentives, such as eliminating customs on imports of equipment needed to produce it.

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