This essay describes an emerging “post‐grid imaginary” that is informing visions of future collapse, growing scarcity, and deepening infrastructural fragmentation. By examining electrical grid failures in Lebanon and California, we can move beyond developmentalist assumptions about the supposedly different trajectories of the so‐called Global North and South. The post‐grid imaginary is at the center of a present and future struggle that is continuous with a global process that looks a lot like structural adjustment in the “Global South” and rampant privatization and austerity in the “Global North.” As states turn away from promises of endless expansion and universal access, the post‐grid imaginary is one way in which states, private utilities, and individuals respond to the urgent need to transform the existing energy system. While a post‐grid imaginary is not inevitable, it is an increasingly visible approach that can lead to geographical disconnection, uneven access, and infrastructural abandonment.

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