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Imagine a power outage affecting 370 million people – more people than the US and Canada combined! Where? Today in North India!

July 30, 2012

Can you imagine a power outage affecting 370 million people, more than the population of the United States and Canada combined??!?!?  Power outages are business as usual in this fast growing nation.  The impact of any outage is somewhat softened by Indians’ familiarity with almost daily blackouts of varying duration.

However Mondays outage was big – the biggest in a decade.  Northern India’s power grid failure halted trains, forced hospitals and airports onto backup power and provided a dark reminder of the nation’s inability to feed a growing hunger for energy as it strives to become an economic power.

Hospitals and major businesses have backup generators that seamlessly kick in during power cuts, and upscale homes are hooked to backup systems powered by truck batteries. Nonetheless, some small businesses were forced to shut for the day. Buildings were without water because the pumps weren’t working, and the vaunted New Delhi Metro, with 1.8 million daily riders, was paralyzed during the busy morning commute.

The cause remains unknown at this time and only 40% of the power has been restored as of the time of this writing.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 31, 2012 08:05

    They fixed it. It broke again. More than six million northern and central Indians are without power today. This is a concern to the people whose lives are affected and to theorganizations who outsource to India. While many of the telemarketing and data processing organizations have their own generators to assure more reliable power than the public enjoys, the fuel they require may become difficult to find as more people run emergency generators. Power is becoming a critical problem around the world. In the US, for-profit power companies do not invest in ‘spare’ capacity. They invest for return in assets that generate profit. Spare capacity is known as ‘non-performing’ because it makes no money for the company. In the bad old days of government regulation, power companies were required to invest in people and systems to provide for emergencies. Deregulation increased profits and reduced costs (a little) partly by eliminating ‘wasteful’ unused capacity. Power is more reliable than it was in the early 20th century, but we are far more dependent than we were then. We may seriously consider the wisdom or eliminating those requirements for spare capacity when a wide-spread outage leaves us in the dark but we won’t be able to blog about it or google the answers as our networks will slowly come down due to back-up batteries that last only a couple hours even if our cell phone and laptop batteries last a day or longer. Are you ready for now power, no phone, no network, no heat, and . . . ?

    • July 31, 2012 09:47

      Thanks for your post Al. How will we get by with the loss of Google and other creature comforts (which we are now increasingly dependent upon!) and when very little work can be done “on paper.” The capacity issue is huge and will only become a greater problem moving forward….. I was speaking with someone about that just a couple of days ago..power outages in the US use to be rare…not anymore…Brave new world! Be well, Regina


  1. Imagine a power outage affecting 370 million people – more people than the US and Canada combined! Where? Today in North India! - Disaster Recovery : Disaster Recovery

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