India’s Electricity Crisis: Background on the Issues
August 7, 2012
By Lynann Butkiewicz
Residents in India are facing historic blackouts, as power outages in July left over 600 million people without electricity for two days. This power failure marks the worst in India’s history and one of the world’s worst blackouts.
India’s Energy Policy and Electricity Production
Charles Ebinger, Brookings Institution
Advancing South Asia’s Energy Security through Efficiency and Regional Cooperation
Srinivasan Padmanaban, USAID
Expanding Access to Electricity: What Asia Can Learn from a Success Story in Latin America
Carlos Colom Bickford, President of the National Energy Commission (CNEE), Guatemala
City Life: Dichotomies in an Urbanizing India
Ananya Roy, University of California, Berkeley
2012 Pacific Energy Summit Papers
Electricity at the Right Price
Donald Hertzmark, DMP Resources
Principles of Successful Expansion of Rural Electrification Programs
Daniel Waddle, NRECA International
Powering Asia’s Growth: Meeting Rising Electricity Needs
Mikkal E. Herberg, The National Bureau of Asian Research; University of California, San Diego
2012 Pacific Energy Summit Report
Innovative Generation: Powering a Prosperous Asia
RELATED MEDIA COVERAGE
The NBR Q&A with Charles Ebinger is referenced in recent media coverage of India's blackout.
India’s infrastructure woes, in two charts (The Washington Post, 8/6/2012)
The Power Gap Behind India’s Mass Blackouts (The New York Times, 7/31/2012)
Why India Just Suffered the World's Biggest Blackout (LiveScience, 7/31/2012)
The recent power shortages, coupled with existing gaps in electrification for over 400 million people in rural areas, highlight serious flaws in India’s electricity infrastructure and may challenge the prospects for economic expansion in what has been one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
Recent NBR publications highlight electricity- and energy-demand problems facing India and other countries in the Asia-Pacific.
In "India’s Energy Policy and Electricity Production," Charles Ebinger outlines India’s current and future challenges in meeting its electricity demand. He argues that without serious reform to the energy sector, India runs the risk of derailing its rapid economic growth.
In "Electricity at the Right Price" (PDF), Donald Hertzmark presents a framework for thinking about electricity pricing in countries with state-owned utility companies. In many of these countries, electricity prices fall below the cost of supply. As demand grows, utilities cannot afford to expand to meet this demand and maintain existing equipment.
Daniel Waddle presents an overview of the contributing factors to the design, implementation, and sustainability of successful rural electrification programs in "Principles of Successful Expansion of Rural Electrification Programs" (PDF).
In an interview "Advancing South Asia’s Energy Security through Efficiency and Regional Cooperation," Srinivasan Padmanaban discusses critical issues for improving energy security in South Asia.
Carlos Colom Bickford outlines opportunities to expand access to electricity in Asia based on successful models from Guatemala in "Expanding Access to Electricity: What Asia Can Learn from a Success Story in Latin America."
In "Powering Asia’s Growth: Meeting Rising Electricity Needs" (PDF), Mikkal E. Herberg provides an overview of Asia’s electricity and energy challenges and describes the fuel- and power-generation choices that the region faces as it seeks to meet rising demand and move toward a future with cleaner power.
The 2012 Pacific Energy Summit Report "Innovative Generation: Powering a Prosperous Asia" (PDF) highlights findings from discussions in Hanoi, Vietnam, where global decision-makers addressed how to best meet Asia’s electricity needs while mitigating the environmental impact of increasing demand.
According to the 2011 census, India’s urban growth has surpassed rural growth for the first time in 90 years. In "City Life: Dichotomies in an Urbanizing India," Ananya Roy discusses the impact of such urbanization on city planning and design, economic growth, and urban politics and explains what this trend implies for growing metropolises globally.