A population nearly twice the size of the U.S. suffering from a bureaucratically ‘generated’ power outage…and they expect it to happen again in the coming days…
The world’s largest outage brought 500 trains to a halt, trapped 200 miners for hours, shut down shops and left hospitals in the dark.
…Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde blamed the outage on states taking more than their allotted share of electricity. “Everyone overdraws from the grid,” he said. Experts disagreed.”Underinvestment at both the state level and national level has been building as power demand increases,” said Charles Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative at the Brookings Institution. “This is just a colossal case where everything has come home to roost after years of neglect.”
India’s power situation is made worse by government actions, such as giving of subsidized or free electricity to favored constituencies that has left power operators in debt and unable to improve the grid.
Also, some plants run below capacity because politicians have acceded to pressure from environmentalists not to use coal for fuel.
Maybe some good will come of it though, Prime Minister Manmahan Singh has pledged to fast track energy projects and introduce free market reforms. A chief executive who intends to reduce centralized planning and encourage the free market…let’s hope it’s contagious.