Risk of mass blackouts may still be rising: Kemp
The risk of massive failures affecting the supply to millions of customers and darkening whole regions or countries may even be increasing as demand rises, especially for air conditioners, and electricity networks are integrated over increasingly wide areas.
India's power failure earlier this year has heightened concern about the reliability of power networks integrated over wide areas, and raised questions about the wisdom of China's plan for an ultra-high voltage super-grid.
On July 31, power cuts rolled across 22 states in the north of India, which are home to 620 million people (and about 320 million electric customers), about 9 percent of the global population. It was easily the biggest power outage in history.
Other mass blackouts recently have included the Java-Bali blackout in Indonesia in 2005 (100 million people); the 2009 Brazil-Paraguay blackout (which left the whole of Paraguay and parts of Brazil without electricity); and the 1999 South Brazil blackout (75 million people).
But the advanced industrial countries are not immune -- though widespread failures are much rarer. In August 2003, a blackout cut power to 50 million people across the Northeast United States and neighbouring parts of Canada, in some cases for up to four days.
Just a month later, in September 2003, a blackout cut power to 4 million
Be the first to comment.