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India’s blackout offers lesson to China

(Global Times)

08:25, August 02, 2012

A large-scale power failure this week has affected half of the population in India. The most serious blackout in human history was not caused by any one factor, but actually reflects the overall level of India's development. Other developing countries including China can use the incident to reflect on their own problems.

Electricity powers a country's modernization. China's power generation volume surpassed the US' last year, ranking top in the world. India, ranking fifth, has a power generation volume one-fifth of China's scale, although its GDP is one-fourth of China's.

Power generation tests a nation's comprehensive ability, from basic energy production, transportation and power grid buildup to electricity distribution and dispatch. As power consumption further rises, society has to develop a consensus on developing nuclear power, hydropower and clean energy.

China needs to generate more power to support higher living standards. It probably needs to double the current power generation to sustain the country's modernization drive. But the difficulty involved in further expanding electricity production has been clearly felt.

Thermal power is limited by the accessibility of more coal and oil. Building more hydropower stations is facing stronger resistance from public opinion.

Prospects for developing nuclear power are even less bright after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown following the massive earthquake in 2011. The wind power industry, though growing fast, cannot be expected to play a major role in the country's power grid.

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