Iraqi cities have found themselves in the unenviable position atop the list of global temperature hot spots this summer, with temperatures in Basra topping 50°C at times this week. The electricity grid is fighting a losing battle with demand as Iraqis seek respite through air conditioning, with the country once again suffering from widespread power blackouts this summer.

Iraq’s patchy electricity infrastructure has been especially hard hit in recent summers as crucial supplies of gas and electricity from neighboring Iran have been sporadic. As it fights to keep the lights on, Iraq is having to supply its power plants with record amounts of oil to supplement/replace gas supplies. (CONTINUED - 1007 WORDS)