Ghana Is Rationing Electricity For Tonight's World Cup Match

Before you're tempted to call the U.S. a bunch of scrappy underdogs, remember that America isn't the country asking industry to go dark and buying extra power from a neighboring country, all to make sure the nation's TVs stay working for the World Cup.

Ghana is already rationing power thanks to low water levels on the Volta River—dams along the river provide 75 percent of the country's electricity. But the nation's public utilities commission has announced that power levels will be brought back up for tonight's match against the U.S., and the Black Stars' other World Cup matches:

"All available generating units should be on-stream during the tournament, and maintenance personnel will be posted to man critical substations and installations during the match periods to ensure expeditious restoration of electricity in the unlikely event of an unplanned outage or emergency."

The match will kick off at 10 p.m. Accra time, and to make sure anyone with a TV is able to watch, the Volta Aluminum Company—the nation's largest smelter, and a huge energy consumer—has been asked to use less power today and on other match days.

Just to make extra-extra certain, Ghana will purchase 50 MW of power from neighboring Côte d'Ivoire. A statement from the public utilities commission:

"It should be noted that these plans are put in place for consumers to watch uninterrupted football matches during the World Cup tournament."

Although, as Quartz notes, this can cynically be seen as a move to win back public opinion that's already angry at an energy policy that favors industry over reliability in private homes. And to head off the disaster of any widespread outages during the match. Ghanaian fans who made the trip to Brazil are already upset about the government-sponsored accommodations, which they liken to "abandoned youth hostels," and in some cases, are sleeping 30 people to a room.

[Bloomberg]