Pakistan’s Power Shortages
Here’s an interesting article about Pakistan’s power shortages and the geopolitical and internal repercussions it is having.
“…Washington will give $125 million to Islamabad for the upgrading of key power stations and transmission lines.
U.S. officials said the initial disbursement is part of a broader effort by the Obama administration to stave off power shortages across Pakistan. They said blackouts are slowing economic growth and aiding the Taliban and other militant groups seeking to weaken President Asif Ali Zardari’s government.”
Pakistan has developed virtually no new power-production capacity in nearly a decade, despite possessing significant hydroelectric and coal assets, U.S. officials said. Islamabad has also faced difficulties attracting foreign investors.
Pakistan suffers an estimated shortfall of about 2,500 megawatts of power. Mrs. Clinton said the U.S. experts will begin rehabilitating power stations along the Indus River. Washington will also help repair 11,000 agricultural irrigation pumps.
How are we doing on our own crumbling infrastructure and outdated power grid?
In recent years, the U.S. power grid has become increasingly prone to such interruptions. Average temperatures have risen, homes have gotten bigger, and so have air-conditioning demands. Thanks to our technology-rich lifestyles and the inefficiency of our buildings and power plants, Americans consume, per capita, at least 50 percent more electricity annually than the citizens of Europe and Japan.
But we don’t have the infrastructure to support our lavish habits. We’ve seen almost no expansion or evolution of the grid that struggles to sustain our skyrocketing demands. Former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson has explained the problem this way: “We’re a major superpower with a third-world electricity grid.” The average age of the equipment that makes up our grid infrastructure is more than forty years, and many components were designed and installed before World War II….
Can you cheer me up?