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"Power cut hits millions, among world's worst outages." Could this happen in the U.S?

cobbland
cobbland "Shorty": Belly (1998)Chicago...Members Posts: 3,768 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited July 2012 in For The Grown & Sexy
Power cut hits millions, among world's worst outages

?m=02&d=20120731&t=2&i=636621378&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=300&r=CDEE86U19TE00


By Frank Jack Daniel

NEW DELHI | Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:59pm IST

(Reuters) - Hundreds of millions of people across India were left without power on Tuesday in one of the world's worst blackouts, trapping miners, stranding train travellers and plunging hospitals into darkness when grids collapsed for the second time in two days.

Stretching from Assam to the Himalayas and the northwestern deserts of Rajasthan, the outage covered states where half of India's 1.2 billion people live and embarrassed the government, which has failed to build up enough power capacity to meet soaring demand.

"Even before we could figure out the reason for yesterday's failure, we had more grid failures today," said R.N. Nayak, chairman of the state-run Power Grid Corporation.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had vowed to fast-track stalled power and infrastructure projects as well as introduce free market reforms aimed at reviving India's flagging economy. But he has drawn fire for dragging his feet.

By nightfall, power was back up in the humid capital, New Delhi and much of the north, but a senior official said only a third was restored in the rural state of Uttar Pradesh, itself home to more people than Brazil.

The cuts in such a widespread area of the world's second most populous nation appeared to be one of the biggest in history, and hurt Indians' pride as the country seeks to emerge as a major force on the international stage.

"It's certainly shameful. Power is a very basic amenity and situations like these should not occur," said Unnayan Amitabh, 19, an intern with HSBC bank in New Delhi, before giving up on the underground train system and flagging down an auto-rickshaw to get home.

"They talk about big ticket reforms but can't get something as essential as power supply right."

Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde blamed the system collapse on some states drawing more than their share of electricity from the over-burdened grid, but Uttar Pradesh's top civil servant for energy said outdated transmission lines were at fault.

Asia's third-largest economy suffers a peak-hour power deficit of about 10 percent, dragging on economic growth.

Between a quarter and 40 percent of Indians are not connected to the national grid.

Two hundred miners were stranded in three deep coal shafts in the state of West Bengal when their electric elevators stopped working. Eastern Coalfields Limited official Niladri Roy said workers at the mines, one of which is 700 metres (3,000 feet) deep, were not in danger and were being taken out.

Train stations in Kolkata were swamped and traffic jammed the streets after government offices closed early in the dilapidated coastal city of 5 million people.

The power failed in some major city hospitals and office buildings had to fire up diesel generators.

By mid-evening, services had been restored on the New Delhi metro system.

"PUSHED INTO DARKNESS"

On Monday, India was forced to buy extra power from the tiny neighbouring kingdom of Bhutan to help it recover from a blackout that hit more than 300 million people.

Indians took to social networking sites to ridicule the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, in part for promoting Shinde despite the power cuts.

Narendra Modi, an opposition leader and chief minister in Gujarat, a state that enjoys a surplus of power, was scornful.

"With poor economic management UPA has emptied the pockets of common man; kept stomachs hungry with inflation & today pushed them into darkness," he said on his Twitter account.

The country's southern and western grids were supplying power to help restore services, officials said.

The problem has been made worse by a weak monsoon in agricultural states such as wheat-belt Punjab and Uttar Pradesh in the Ganges plain, which has a larger population than Brazil.

With less rain to irrigate crops, more farmers resort to electric pumps to draw water from wells.

India's electricity distribution and transmission is mostly state run, with private companies operating in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Less than a quarter of generation is private nationwide.

More than half the country's electricity is generated by coal, with hydro power and nuclear also contributing.

Power shortages and a creaky road and rail network have weighed heavily on India's efforts to industrialize. Grappling with the slowest economic growth in nine years, the government recently scaled back a target to pump $1 trillion into infrastructure over the next five years.

Major industries have their own power plants or diesel generators and are shielded from outages. But the inconsistent supply hits investment and disrupts small businesses.

High consumption of heavily subsidized diesel by farmers and businesses has fuelled a gaping fiscal deficit that the government has vowed to tackle to restore confidence in the economy.

But the poor monsoon means a subsidy cut is politically difficult.

On Tuesday, the central bank cut its economic growth outlook for the fiscal year that ends in March to 6.5 percent, from the 7.3 percent assumption made in April, putting its outlook closer to that of many private economists.

"This is going to have a substantial adverse impact on the overall economic activity. Power failure for two consecutive days hits sentiment very badly," said N. Bhanumurthy, a senior economist at National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.

(Reporting by Delhi Bureau; Sujoy Dhar in Kolkata and Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Robert Birsel and Diana Abdallah)

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/31/india-blackout-delhi-northern-power-idINDEE86U05C20120731

Comments

  • caddo man
    caddo man Failure is success in progress! Members Posts: 22,476 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No.
    Reason #1: The electric grid is a state regulated but corporate maintained entity. Just like phonelines. The state permits the companies certain areas for monopolies.

    I was going to give a number of reasons but I have work to do.
  • cobbland
    cobbland "Shorty": Belly (1998) Chicago...Members Posts: 3,768 ✭✭✭✭✭
    caddo man wrote: »
    No.
    Reason #1: The electric grid is a state regulated but corporate maintained entity. Just like phonelines. The state permits the companies certain areas for monopolies.

    I was going to give a number of reasons but I have work to do.

    Although the scenarios are different, I was basing this question off the cyber attacks the U.S has faced.
    Senators debate security of electricity grid
    By S. Smithson-The Washington Times
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    The U.S. electricity grid is dangerously vulnerable to sabotage by hackers, spies and terrorists, despite a seven-year effort to protect it from cyberattacks, senators and officials said Tuesday.

    With senators differing on the degree of regulation required, the warning comes as the deadline for them to act on a cybersecurity bill before the August recess draws near.

    The system for setting and enforcing cybersecurity standards for the nation's electricity grid is "cumbersome and overly complicated," Sen. Jeff Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said as he opened a hearing on the issue.

    Set up by the 2005 Energy Policy Act, the system is "not adequate" for protecting the huge and complex power network from an attack via the Internet, the New Mexico Democrat said.

    "Seven years after we passed the law … we are still waiting for that process to produce the full set of adequately protective standards that we need," Mr. Bingaman said.

    The Energy Policy Act gave ultimate responsibility for cybersecurity standards for the power grid to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — a long-established federal regulator.

    But in response to concerns from the power industry about the burden of new regulations, Congress also told the agency to work through a private industry partnership group, the North American Electricity Reliability Council.

    The federal agency and the private council have been sparring over standards ever since, Mr. Bingaman said.

    The first set of standards the industry group proposed in 2006 were not approved by the regulator and had to be revised several times. The fourth version finally was approved in April, with the proviso that the private council get the industry to fix the remaining problems by March 2013.

    Part of the reason it has taken so long, security specialists say, is that the federal commission does not have the authority to dictate standards to industry.

    The commission's "current authority is not adequate to address cyber or other national security threats to the reliability of our transmission and power system," said Joseph McClelland, director of the regulatory commission's Office of Electric Reliability.

    Moreover, there is no system for overseeing industry compliance with the standards, Gregory C. Wilshusen, director of information and technology issues at the Government Accountability Office, noted in his testimony.

    However, as Mr. Bingaman noted, the power industry is the only sector of the United States' critical infrastructure to have mandatory cybersecurity standards at all. There are no similar federal requirements for water or transportation systems, for instance.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jul/17/senators-debate-security-electricity-grid/
  • Louis Cipher
    Louis Cipher Members Posts: 4,020 ✭✭✭✭✭
    there has already been a power grid failure here back in 2003...though it happened for different reasons
  • KingJamal
    KingJamal Members Posts: 20,652 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sucks for them
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Regulator
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • CottonCitySlim
    CottonCitySlim Members Posts: 7,063 ✭✭✭✭✭
    This already happened in the us this year a month ago...instead of cyber attacks it was a storm.

    We talked about this in our networking class impossible unless someone helps you
  • jono
    jono Right fist = power, left fist = unity Members Posts: 30,280 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes it can happen, will it? Not likely.
  • Rozetta5tone
    Rozetta5tone Don't quote me bro Right hereMembers Posts: 4,506 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The stench coming from those train cabins have to be repugnant and stomach turning..

    They already stink when the power is on..
  • JusDre313
    JusDre313 ∩┐(◕_◕)┌∩┐ YEP........................ MEDICINAL!Members Posts: 4,727 ✭✭✭✭✭
    yeah man i saw that on the local news here. im like 600 million people 🤬 !.
  • Wild Self
    Wild Self Members Posts: 4,226 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2012
    We need to develop clean energy now. Imagine life without cell phones and internet? Half of yall would commit dat.
  • J-GUTTA
    J-GUTTA Members Posts: 9,107 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hate to sound racist but half of India without AC....🤬 you know that was some foul smelling 🤬 .
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