India's energy crisis spread over half the country Tuesday when both its eastern and northern electricity grids collapsed, leaving 600 million people without power in one of the world's biggest-ever blackouts. Traffic lights went out across New Delhi. The city's Metro rail system, which serves about 1.8 million people a day, immediately shut down for the second day in a row. The new power failure affected people across 13 states - more than the entire population of the European Union. They raised concerns about India's outdated infrastructure and its insatiable appetite for energy that the government has been unable to meet. --Associated Press, 31 July 2012
More than half of India's power-generation capacity of 205 gigawatts is coal-based, and Coal India Ltd., the world's biggest coal producer, is unable to produce enough owing to delays in getting environmental clearances for mining. Meanwhile, government giveaways in the form of free electricity to farmers and a reluctance among politicians to raise power tariffs to sufficiently cover costs have drained cash reserves from the largely state-run electricity-distribution companies, leaving them with mounting debt and hampered ability to purchase power. --The Wall Street Journal, 30 July 2012
Siddharth Bhargava, a research analyst at Matthews International Capital Management in San Francisco, warned in April of this year that India is on the brink of a major power crisis. He indicated that coal comprises half of India’s energy sources and that supply is largely controlled by just one government-owned company (Coal India Ltd.). “Furthermore, environmental restrictions have tightened over the last few years, leading to the closure of several coal mines.” --Palash R Gosh, International Business Times, 30 July 2012
India is facing an energy crisis that is slowing economic growth in the world's largest democracy. At stake is India's ability to bring electricity to 400 million rural residents—a third of the population—as well as keep the lights on at corporate office towers and provide enough fuel for 1.5 million new vehicles added to the roads each month. With annual demand expected to more than double in the next two decades to the equivalent of six billion barrels of oil, the energy crunch threatens to knock India off its growth path. --Amol Sharma and Megha Bahree, The Wall Street Journal, 1 July 2012
Energy consumption in India is likely to double to 1,124 kgs of oil equivalent (kgoe) by 2031-32 on the back of high economic expansion, a joint study by consultancy Deloitte and industry chamber Assocham showed Wednesday.
The report said a multi-pronged strategy, like increasing production of oil and gas and diversifying import sources, are needed to meet growing energy demand in India, which is heavily dependent on imports. With demand for hydrocarbons closely linked to economic growth, demand for petroleum products is expected to grow at 6 percent. --Newstrack India, 25 July 2012
Hours of power outage in scorching summer Monday sparked protest in most parts of Pakistan and angry protesters attacked offices of power supply departments in some areas. Pakistan faces about 5000 MW electricity shortfall which has forced the government to cut power for around 12 hours everyday in major cities including capital Islamabad. In small town and rural areas, power is suspended for nearly 18 hours. Power shortage has also affected drinking water system as tube wells could not be run in time. Traders have also joined rallies in different parts of Pakistan who say that power crisis has badly affected their business. Police fired in the air and used tear gas shells to disperse protestors who attacked offices of power supply companies and government vehicles in some parts of the country. --CriEnglish.com, 31 July 2012