Surely Baghdad’s electricity supply couldn’t get worse than shown in the graph on the right?
Alas, it seems it can:
Iraq’s power grid is on the brink of collapse because of insurgent sabotage, rising demand, fuel shortages and provinces that are unplugging local power stations from the national grid, officials said Saturday.
Electricity Ministry spokesman Aziz al-Shimari said power generation nationally is only meeting half the demand, and there had been four nationwide blackouts over the past two days. The shortages across the country are the worst since the summer of 2003, shortly after the U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, he said.
Power supplies in Baghdad have been sporadic all summer and now are down to just a few hours a day, if that. The water supply in the capital has also been severely curtailed by power blackouts and cuts that have affected pumping and filtration stations. …
“Many southern provinces such as Basra, Diwaniyah, Nassiriyah, Babil have disconnected their power plants from the national grid. Northern provinces, including Kurdistan, are doing the same,” al-Shimari said. “We have absolutely no control over some areas in the south,” he added.
“The national grid will collapse if the provinces do not abide by rules regarding their share of electricity. Everybody will lose and there will be no electricity winner,” al-Shimari said. …
Compounding the problem, al-Shimari said there are 17 high-tension lines running into Baghdad but only two were operational. The rest had been sabotaged.
Now this might seem like bad news, but if you are a warblogger, it’s good news. Rob Port:
Rising demand. That’s important. People in Iraq are demanding more power. And what’s that indicative of?
A growing economy. Which goes hand in hand with what we’re hearing about the surge. More areas of Iraq are secure. Businesses are re-opening. People are going about their business, and what does business need? Power.
Actually the increase in demand is mainly because people can buy air conditioners now, but they couldn’t before the war because of the economic sanctions.