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Indian Power outage draws attention to international problem

The recent power outages in India, have brought the problems of over committed power networks around the world into sharp focus.


Although the world’s press has focussed on the dramatic effects of the major outages this week in , hours of power outage sparked riots in most parts of Pakistan this week,  where a 5000 MW shortfall has forced the government to cut power for around 12 hours a day in major cities including Islamabad.


The power shortage in Pakistan has also affected the drinking water system as tube wells could not be run in time. Officials said that recent thunderstorms  and heavy rain affected transmission  of 1,750 megawatts of electricity supplied by a power plant in Punjab.  Police have used tear gas and batons to disperse crowds in a number of cities.

Much of the worlds press has concentrated on two days of major failures in India that have left 500,000 people in blackouts following the outages of three major interconnected power networks in the northern border areas.  The power failures caused havoc to the railroad network, the metro,  the water supply and traffic snarled in the capital New Delhi.

The power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde did not specify what had caused the grid breakdown, but blamed several northern states for consuming too much power from the national system.

These recent reports have drawn attention to the increasing problem of energy supply that is being faced around the world.  In 2011 major incidents were reported in northern Brazil where 53 million people were affected by a failure on 4th February , Christchurch New Zealand following an earthquake on 22nd February , Southern California on 8th September and Chile on 24th September.

These recent events underline the need for research on large scale energy storage, which is increasingly being recognised as a major priority for governments around the world.   The Centre for Low Carbon Futures published a paper in March 2012 entitled ‘Pathways for energy storage in the UK’ that took an integrated approach to examining the drivers and barriers to the development and deployment of different forms of energy storage.  It uses a number of scenarios for the development of the UK energy system to analyse the different technologies and markets for energy storage and the likely timeframe for market development.  See www. to download the full report.√جª¬ø√جª¬ø


Originally posted 2012-07-31 00:00:00.

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