Mostafa Khaled, 20, studies by candlelight for his early morning exams during a power cut in Toukh, El-Kalubia governorate, about 25 km (16 miles) northeast of Cairo May 26, 2013. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Blackouts deepened discontent with Islamist President Mohamed Mursi before then army chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ousted him last year following mass protests. Although Sisi's supporters credit him with a magic touch, there is no instant solution to the decrepit state of the power grid, a glaring example of decades of mismanagement.
Power cuts are expected to be one of his biggest challenges.
Electricity shortages mean the country often has intermittent outages for hours a day, even in upscale neighbourhoods.
Eyewitnesses reported that subway stations without power were extremely congested.
The ageing state-run infrastructure is increasingly unable to handle the burden of rapidly growing demand for electricity in a country of 85 million people. Gas shortages have also worsened in recent years as dwindling local production has failed to meet domestic demand and export commitments.