Heatwave Triggers Indian "Power Crisis" As State Firms Seek Russian Crude To Secure Supplies
India is one of those G-20 members not bowing down to US pressure to halt purchases of Russian energy products. The South Asian country's power grid is dominated by fossil fuels, particularly coal and crude, and has come under severe stress as one of the worst heatwaves in years causes widespread blackouts.
Another devastating heatwave has parched large swathes of India this week (after record heat in March), resulting in power blackouts. In the capital New Delhi, high temperatures hit 104 Fahrenheit and could increase even more through the weekend.
Fossil fuels power about 75% of India's power grid, and the rest is renewable energy. Soaring temperatures mean increasing power output as cooling demand rises. The government has forced power cuts for factories in various provinces to mitigate the grid's collapse. Nearly 42% of the grid comprises the industrial sector, followed by residential at 24% and agriculture at 18%.
"In view of the present power crisis, .. it has been decided to impose scheduled cuts," a state power utility told Reuters.
"Power cuts are expected to worsen in the coming days as the heatwaves and a pickup in economic activity are seen increasing electricity demand at the fastest pace in nearly four decades," Reuters explained.
Since most electricity generated in India is from fossil fuels and extreme heat increases power demand. Reuters revealed that Indian refiners are negotiating a six-month oil deal with Russia to import millions of barrels per month.
Western sanctions against Russia forced many countries to find alternative sources, but a growing number of G-20 members are becoming defiant and ignoring Washington and continuing to do business with Moscow outside the dollar system.
Reuters also notes that New Delhi has asked state-run energy companies to evaluate a potential purchase of European oil major BP's stake in sanctions-hit Russian firm Rosneft. BP exited its stake in Rosneft in late February, taking a massive $25 billion hit.
India is securing its future with fossil fuels from sanctioned Russia to ensure its supplies for power generation remain adequate. New Delhi is ignoring Washington's request to boycott Russia shows the West's waning control over the rest of the world. Is this the latest example of a bipolar world emerging?