The fact that New Delhi is defying Washington’s call for a boycott of Russia demonstrates the West’s declining influence over the rest of the globe. Now, India is set to get Russian oil to avert power crisis triggered by heatwave ignoring western sanctions.
India is one of those G-20 members that has refused to budge in the face of US pressure to stop buying Russian energy supplies. The electricity grid of this South Asian country is dominated by fossil fuels, mainly coal and crude oil, and is under significant strain as a result of one of the worst heatwaves in years, which has resulted in extensive outages.
Another disastrous heatwave has ravaged significant parts of India this week (after March’s record heat), causing power outages. Extreme temperatures in the capital, New Delhi, reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit and are expected to rise further over the weekend.
About 75% of India’s electricity network is powered by fossil fuels, with the rest powered by renewable energy. As cooling requirement increases in response to rising temperatures, power production must increase.
To prevent the grid from collapsing, the government has imposed power cutbacks on enterprises in various provinces. The industrial sector accounts for over 42% of the grid, with residential accounting for 24% and agriculture accounting for 18%.
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“Power cuts are expected to worsen in the coming days as the heatwaves and a pickup in economic activity are seen increasing electricity demand at the fastest pace in nearly four decades,” according to Reuters.
The majority of India’s electricity is derived from fossil fuels, and high heat boosts power consumption. Indian refiners are discussing a six-month oil contract with Russia to import millions of barrels each month, according to Reuters.
Many countries have been compelled to seek new means of funding due to Western sanctions against Russia, but a rising number of G-20 members are defying Washington and opting to do commerce with Moscow outside the dollar network.
According to Reuters, New Delhi has requested state-owned energy corporations to assess the possibility of buying BP’s interest in Russia’s sanctions-hit Rosneft. In late February, BP sold its interest in Rosneft, incurring a hefty $25 billion loss.
To maintain enough power generating supplies, India is safeguarding its future with fossil resources from sanctioned Russia. The fact that New Delhi is defying Washington’s call for a boycott of Russia demonstrates the West’s declining influence over the rest of the globe. Is this the latest evidence of a world that is becoming increasingly bipolar?