Blackouts in India: What’s it mean for us?

I’m currently putting together a BoingBoing post about the problems with the American grid and efforts to solve them. Two things you should know about the India blackouts, though.

1) You can’t really make a 1-to-1 comparison between grid problems in India and grid problems in the U.S. We both have problems, but also have different grids and different issues affecting those grids. My understanding from researching Before the Lights Go Out, my book about electricity infrastructure in the U.S., is that we aren’t currently in danger of imminent massive-scale blackouts like what they’re experiencing in India. That said, if we don’t make updates, we could have big problems in the future.

2) Extreme weather and increasing electric demand will stress and break any grid, anywhere. It happens all the time in the United States. We just have pretty good systems for dealing with it.

More to come! But if you want to know more about how grids work and why they fail, this would be a pretty good time to read Before the Lights Go Out!