Blackout in India: 11 potential reasons to explain the power failure [blame game]

On Tuesday, the world’s largest blackout continued in India. About 700 million peopled went without power in 22 of the country’s 28 states. That’s a bit like two USA’s going dark. Wow. Since the TV show “How Do They Do It” will need some time to explain this fiasco, we’ll make do for the time being with these reasons provided by The NYT, CNN, WSJ and FirstPost:

  1. Certain states used more power than they were supposed to. Expanded: People controlling the power flow at state and regional levels declined to cut off the juice when they needed to. Augmented: Local officials cared more about their own needs (and political interests) than those of the entire network.
  2. Bad, bad managers at the top, very political levels, making bad, bad decisions, the political opposition says.
  3. Hey, a relay problem.
  4. Farmers are using more energy for irrigation due to monsoon rains being lower than usual for this time of year.
  5. Hydroelectric power is compromised by the weak monsoon rains.
  6. It’s hotter because of the weakened monsoon rains, and people are using air conditioning more.
  7. State power companies, which manage the flow of energy, are heavily in debt and underfunded. We have to make a bit of a leap here and presume that less money means poorer operations.
  8. More than half of India’s power comes from coal, and the country struggles to get more power from this source because of environmental restrictions on opening more coal mines.
  9. There is resistance to nuclear power.
  10. The power infrastructure is too small for India’s population. Yep, yep.
  11. A spike in demand? Unlikely.

Round one of the blame game, complete. Round two, fight!

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