Switching off all lights may lead to grid collapse, cause nationwide blackout: State Energy Minister
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to switch off lights at 9 pm on Sunday to display the country’s spirit in fighting the coronavirus pandemic can lead to a multi-state grid collapse and countrywide blackout, Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut has said.
Raut stated that if electricity is switched off together, all power stations can go on high frequency and there is a possibility of grid tripping. Further, if all power stations are shut, there can be multi-state grid failure.
In order to avoid the situation, the Minister urged people to light candles and lamps without switching off lights at their homes.
“If all lights are switched off at once it might lead to failure of grid. All our emergency services will fail and it might take a week’s time to restore power. Would appeal to the public to light candles and lamps without switching off lights,” Raut said in a video message.
“Putting off the lights together at the same time can lead to a huge difference in demand and supply. As there is lockdown, the demand has already decreased from 23,000 megawatt to 13,000 megawatt as factory units are not operating,” he said.
“Switching off the lights at the time will lead to a blackout that is likely to affect emergency services. It would take us at least 12-16 hours to restore services. Electricity is a major tool during this COVID-19 crisis,” he added.
Raut’s message was in response to PM’s call to turn all lights off in their houses at 9 pm on Sunday (April 5) and to stand at their doors or windows with a candle, diya or torch for nine minutes to display the country’s “collective resolve” to defeat COVID-19.