India baseload power grid failure

Last month the U.S. grid failed due to heat wave demand, this month, it’s India’s grid. There are several common features: coal, baseload, outdated grid, and distributed renewable energy through a smart grid as the solution.

SFGate quoting NY Times, yesterday, India grid failure causes power blackout,

The Ministry of Power was investigating the cause, but officials suggested that part of the problem was probably excessive demand during the torrid summer.

Same as in the U.S. grid failure. Except India did it bigger, according to the Economic Times of India today,

The blackout which has left 600 million people without electricity in one of the world’s most widespread power failures.

Yet officials are in denial, according to the SFGate story:

“This is a one-off situation,” said Ajai Nirula, the chief operating officer of North Delhi Power Limited, which distributes power to nearly 1.2 million people in the region. “Everyone was surprised.”

Well, they shouldn’t be, if they were watching what happened in the U.S. And India gets most of its electricity from coal, whose CO2 emissions contribute to climate change, producing ever-hotter summers. Just like in the U.S.

The story includes a clue to the solution:

Monday’s blackout could have proved more crippling if not for what might be called India’s unofficial power grid—the tens of thousands of diesel generators and inverters, most privately owned, that serve as backup power sources. Many hospitals across the region are equipped with backup generators, as are many office buildings and government offices. In New Delhi, many homeowners also have private backup service.

So make it distributed power generation official, and add to it enough rooftop solar and wind power generation to replace many of those coal plants, and the problem will be solved. Just like in the U.S.

A New York Times update today has another clue:

“While on the one hand it is a pity that over 26,000 megawatts of power stations are idle due to the nonavailability of coal, on the other one grid failure has brought the system collapsed,” said the group’s secretary general D.S. Rawat, noting that “the entire power situation at present is headed for disaster.”

Do you think they had a failure in sunshine distribution at the same time? “Haze” maybe, from all that coal and diesel generator smoke, but not likely complete failure of sunlight across all of India, not even with the thundershowers predicted there for today. Just like in the U.S.

The baseload religion is the problem, with the hardening of its grid arteries that can’t respond in record heat that its too-big baseload coal plants are causing. A clean renewable energy future is here, we just need to distribute it more widely in India and in the U.S.