Just to give you an idea of the situation facing utilities in developing countries I quote part of an article from Indiainfoline.
(One should keep in mind that India is an advanced country which has nuclear power, 800kV lines and all other advanced technologies.)
-------- Transmission And Distribution Losses (T&D) :Technical losses in T&D of 8-10% of the energy fed into the system are deemed to be normal. All India figures of T&D losses are alarmingly high - in excess of 22%. Lack of adequate investment in T&D systems and systematic distribution planning are major reasons contributing to technical factors for the high level of T&D losses. Defective metering, unmetered supply and pilferage are the main non-technical factors [...] Quality Of Power : The quality of power is also poor with the domestic sector voltage dropping to as low as 150 volts (as against 220 volts) and that in the EHV segment sometimes dropping to as low as 300kv (as against 400kv which is seldom available). --------
The occasional flickering lights and rare blackout at home just doesn't seem like an issue...
Aaack! You put me on the spot, Trumpy. If it’s not covered in sheet metal, and over three feet off the ground, I’m out of my league. [I am no sort of lineman.] CA-state codes generally call for 34 feet of ground clearance for 300-550kV. Don’t know what 765 requires—there’s none out in the Western System. 765 seems to end at around Chicago and western Kentucky, based on the 1997 national map.
Defective metering, unmetered supply and pilferage are the main non-technical factors
I always remember seeing an article years ago about how the poor people of the "barrios" got free electricity.
There was a picture of a guy with his ladder up a pole adding his own unofficial "service drop." Just at this one pole there must have been at least two dozen bits of lamp cord twisted around the conductors and leading off in all directions to the shanties.
Wish I still had the photo to post....
I still recall the caption below: "This hazardous task has often resulted in electrocution."
[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 05-22-2003).]