The biggest power failure in the history of the world is happening in India at the moment , affecting a whopping 600 million people, over half of the country. A blackout on Monday was thought to be fixed on Tuesday, but ended up metastasizing and growing throughout the day. While the numbers sound massive, keep in mind that 300 million Indians already have no access to power daily. In addition, the power is so scattershot in India that many carry backup generators. The public infrastructure implications, however, were vast.
The power failure spread across 22 of the country’s 28 states, an area whose population is nearly 700 million, almost 10 percent of the world’s population. Hundreds of trains stopped across the region and, in Delhi, the subway system stalled, and massive traffic jams collected as traffic lights stopped functioning [...]
The root cause of the vast power failure was not immediately clear. India has struggled to generate enough power of its own to fuel businesses and light homes, and the country relies on huge imports of coal and oil to power its own plants. While top government officials blamed several northern states for pulling more power from the national grid than they had been allotted, those states have been power needy for years.
Many in the Indian government have blamed the public energy distribution, and argued that power generation ought to be privatized. However, the larger culprit could be the fact that the monopoly is so coal-dependent and import-dependent, and inherently unreliable. This dependency leads to the slow development of Indian public works. And generating more domestic coal to compensate, which would lead to public health disasters in India, is not the answer. The answer lies in diversification of the energy sector,