Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

No juice in Iraq.

For months, I have been noticing reports from Iraqi civilians that electricity has been spotty, but I thought it was localized to the regions of conflict.

Well, apparently I was too optimistic. According to Major General Thomas Bostwick, commander of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Iraqi power plants now generate only 3,500-3,600 megawatts daily, far less than Iraq's electrical production before the war.

How bad is this? Well, let's go back to a post I made in late May of 2004. I was saying that things were looking very bad -- only 3,766 megawatts of power were produced in the first week of May, and the goal of 6,000 megawatts on June 1st was unobtainable.

So basically, the situation for electricity has gotten considerably worse over the past six months, despite the fact that new power facilities that have come online.

This implies that current power outages are primarily due to attacks on both fuel supplies, the delivery infrastructure, and possibly due to attacks and intimidation of Iraqis working in the power industry. If plants can't get access to fuel -- a problem many Iraqis have had recently -- then they can't provide electricity, and the fuel supply for Iraq seems to be intensely targeted right now, presumably because it is comparatively vulnerable to attack.

It all comes down to the relative simplicity of throwing a wrench in the works and the cyclical nature of these problems.

No power = no industry/hurt businesses, little incentive for foriegn investment, high fuel prices = no jobs, poor water/sanitation, angry Iraqis = violence = no power.

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