In the United States, whenever we have a power outage in the millions, people absolutely freak out. That goes double when a large city or state lacks power. In India, the world’s second-largest country, a third of the country’s population has no access to power, but hundreds of millions of others depend on electricity for cooking, cooling, entertainment, and other vital needs served either via public or private needs. Some 600 million people in India are currently without power after the entire power grid failed in the northern and eastern sections of the country. This is the second day of widespread power outages for India.
The power grids for Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation and Orissa have collapsed, leaving 13 Indian states in the dark. The two grids serve half of India’s population, including the city of New Delhi, and now a population larger than the entire European Union lacks access to basic electricity.
While the power companies are blaming lower production levels on a monsoon that has increased demand for air conditioning, the problem is endemic to India. As their economy has grown, energy use has grown faster than the infrastructure has. India quite simply cannot keep up with its own growth, and that’s starting to show in a serious way when it comes to the country’s ancient power supply. Talk about growing pains.
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