Posted BY: Ethan Huff
Some 140 million people in Bangladesh are without power after the nation’s power grid collapsed on October 4.
Nearly the entire country, the AFP News Agency reported, suffered a blackout due to the collapse. Officials from the state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) said a power transmission failure in the eastern part of the country tripped power plants nationwide, cutting off power to the entire country, including the capital city of Dhaka.
BPDB official Shameem Hasan announced that engineers are investigating “glitches” in the power system. There have apparently been serious problems with the Bangladesh electricity grid for several months now.
As usual, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is taking the blame. Energy prices are rising, along with food prices. And this, we are told, has “wrought havoc on Bangladesh’s electricity grid in recent months, with utilities struggling to source enough diesel and gas to meet demand.”
“A depreciating currency and dwindling foreign exchange reserves left Bangladesh unable to import sufficient fossil fuels, forcing it to close diesel plants and leave some gas-fired power stations idle,” reports further add. (Related: The transition to green energy is also weakening America’s power grid.)
What will become of Bangladesh’s clothing industry?
Keep in mind that Bangladesh is one of the world’s largest garment exporters after China. If energy problems there continue, the rest of the world could lose a large segment of the clothing market.
Bangladesh is also an emerging outsourcing destination for business operations such as call centers. If those are lost, multinational corporations will have to choose another country to exploit.
Most important of all are the people of Bangladesh whose lives are now at risk due to the unstable energy situation across the country.
“Coming soon to Western countries,” wrote a commenter about the turmoil that Bangladesh faces due to the escalating energy crisis.
“These are World Economic Forum trial runs,” added another. “October is looking to be full of excitement. Get your kettle-cooked popcorn over a campfire ready!”
Others pointed out that shifting power grid conditions can be disastrous for electronics like kitchen appliances, mobile phones, and even electric cars. Should similar unexpected blackouts occur here in the West, people will want to make sure that their electronics are surge-protected.
“Drop in voltage and frequency tends to fry electronic components,” one of them wrote. “That is why grid operators do rolling blackouts instead of uncontrolled brownouts.”
Another commenter wrote that a similar situation occurred in Utah back in the 1980s. Claiming to have worked for Utah Power and Light (UP&L) at the time, this person says the situation in Bangladesh is “surprisingly easy to have happen.”
“A big generator trips offline, now the load is too high, a bunch of load trips offline, now there’s too much generation, more generators trip, and in a cascade taking only seconds, you’ve lost everything,” he writes.
“Bringing it back up is a matter of delicately balancing load and generation as you rebuild the network. And that’s if nothing fried. UP&L dropped it once while they were bringing it back and had to start over, but eventually they got it.”
“Hear that? It’s the sound of one hundred million sewing machines sitting idle,” wrote another about how no more garments can be made in Bangladesh without power.
Another rewrote the words to the famous John Lennon song “Imagine” to reflect the current energy crisis in Bangladesh and around the world:
“Imagine no more electricity.
I wonder if you can.
Imagine all the people
Livin’ life in darkness.”
More related news coverage about the global energy crisis can be found at Collapse.news.
Sources for this article include: