620 million without power: India's energy crisis as grids collapse  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

The SMH has a reports on the impact of poor rains and high temperatures on India's overloaded power grid - 620 million without power: India's energy crisis as grids collapse.

India's energy crisis cascaded over half the country on Tuesday when three of its regional grids collapsed, leaving 620 million people without government-supplied electricity for several hours in, by far, the world's biggest blackout. ...

The new power failure affected 620 million people across 20 of India's 28 states - about double the population of the United States. The blackout was unusual in its reach, stretching from the border with Myanmar in the northeast to the Pakistani border about 3000 kilometres away. Its impact, however, was softened by Indians' familiarity with frequent blackouts and the widespread use of backup generators for major businesses and key facilities such as hospitals and airports. ...

Tuesday's blackout eclipsed Monday's in India, which covered territory including 370 million people. The third largest blackout affected 100 million people in Indonesia in 2005, according to reports by The Associated Press.

India's demand for electricity has soared along with its economy in recent years, but utilities have been unable to meet the growing needs. India's Central Electricity Authority reported power deficits of more than 8 per cent in recent months.

In addition, vast amounts of power are pirated through unauthorized wiring that taps into the electrical system.

The power deficit was worsened by a weak monsoon that lowered hydroelectric generation and kept temperatures higher, further increasing electricity usage as people seek to cool off.

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