August 3, 2012
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Unprecedented Blackouts Test India’s Will.
It’s no secret that India’s infrastructure hasn’t been able to keep up with its population growth or industrial expansion. The power grid is no exception. India’s Central Electricity Authority has reported up to 8 percent power deficits in recent months, forcing many to rely on portable generators rather than the fickle power grid. Still, even a generator is a rare luxury in a country where more than a third of the population has no access to public utilities whatsoever.
Sometimes a problem has to turn into a crisis before anybody takes the trouble to fix it. Optimists hope that India’s two massive blackouts will be the spur that forces the country to address its deep-seated problems with building and maintaining a modern infrastructure that can support the kind of economy India wants. Pessimists think the forces of inertia are just too great to make any real changes.
Plus: “Experts fear failures that caused blackouts in New York, Boston and San Diego may become more common as the voracious demand for power continues to grow. They say it will take a multibillion-dollar investment to avoid them.”
Could’ve spent some of that stimulus money on shoring up the power grid, but that would have mean too many jobs for burly men.