India’s Electricity Blackout and a Myanmar Fuel Solution

Tuesday, 31 July 2012 00:00 KR
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India’s northern state blackout has spread from affecting the region's 360 million now to over 600 million people or nearly twice the population of the United States.  These power outages are a testament as to why the “I” in BRIC needs a reliable supply of electricity above all else.  Northern India has faced power outages this summer due to among other reasons, a lack of fuel for power generation.  Others point to some Indian states drawing off more power than allocated and others point to the confluence of summer heat, agricultural irrigation that draws on huge amounts of power, and India's burgeoning population and the demands that put on the grid.  .   
In the short term, this has everything to do with keeping the lights on.  In the longer term, the electricity-fuel issue has everything to do with the economic development and security of the Indian state and its people.  While the specific causes behind the ongoing blackouts may not be identified for sometime many remain in the dark. In fueling its future, India is looking at neighboring Myanmar as one source for ensuring the lights don’t go out again. Journal of Energy Security (JES) contributor Varigonda Kesava Chandra in Singapore has been working on an extensive piece on India’s electricity sector and the fuel challenges to powering its grid. To see the full copy of this analysis which will be published in the July 2012 edition of the JES click here.

In the April issue of the JES Chandra contributed an article on the problems India has had in building gas pipelines to feed its growing economy.