Current Flow: The Electrification of Palestine

Current Flow: The Electrification of Palestine

Current Flow: The Electrification of Palestine

Current Flow: The Electrification of Palestine

Excerpt

Among the various physical infrastructures around us, the electric grid is critically foundational. From the production of electricity by diesel fuel, coal, nuclear, or hydroelectric power stations, to the running of electric current through high-, medium-, and low-tension wires, all the way to the electric appliances of the individual consumer— electricity is the quintessential infrastructure, feeding and sustaining other essential grids like water supply and irrigation, railway systems, and the Internet. Wherever we go and whenever we look, we see electric wires and their visible energetic products. They crawl under our feet, spring out of the ground, and cut across the sky. Although the electric grid is an old-fashioned infrastructure, consisting of concrete physical connections between one point and another, we cannot do without it—all other wireless grids rely on it. Imagine not being able to charge—for example, not being able to periodically insert your laptop or cell phone into a source of wired electricity. “It’s outdated,” complains one writer. “It isn’t suited to meet our power demands.” Still, we are absolutely dependent on it.

Although we tend to think of the grid—a cobweb of wires a century and a half old—as a long-completed project, electrification is still an ongoing process. Grids never sleep; once they more or less cover any definite area, their tendency is to transcend the boundary they have just established and expand beyond it through outreach to yet unconnected . . .

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