The European one works nicely, blackouts are rare and usually limited to local regions for local reasons (e. g. ice or heavy snow taking down the power lines going to some town). And one counterexample is sufficient to refute the claim that "Large, continental power grids are far too complex and vulnerable". The largest blackout happened in 2003, affecting 56 million people - for three hours in the middle of the night. Uhh, scary. A small fraction of the population got power a bit later than the others. The second largest blackout happened in 2006, with 15 millions without electricity for 2 hours. Going by Wikipedia articles, London 2003 is the last European one that has its own article - 500,000 people for 30 minutes to 2 hours. The longest blackout I personally experienced in my life was about 5 minutes long.