News Release

One Reason Behind India’s Blackout: World Bank Policies


DAPHNE WYSHAM, via Lacy MacAuley, lacy at, daphne at,
Wysham is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and is the founder and co-director of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network. She grew up in India and was last there in December. She just wrote the piece One Reason Behind India’s Blackout: World Bank Policies and Neoliberalism.

She said today: “One-tenth of the planet’s people — one-half of India’s population — lost power completely this week, with a blackout covering most of North India’s highly populated states. While corruption, a delayed monsoon, and equipment failure played a role in the problem, the World Bank also helped usher in a model of power sector privatization to India 15 years ago, with a focus on highly polluting coal and large hydro-electric dams, largely providing power to energy-intensive industries and wealthy, urban areas, while leaving vast swaths of the poor and rural population in the dark or displaced, or both. One of the few regions in India that maintained power reliably during the blackouts was Jodhpur — where wind power kept the lights on.”

She wrote the piece “Coal Smoke and Planetary Fever: As the Climate Changes, a Deadly Disease Is on the Rise” about her most recent trip to India.