Venezuela celebrates new year with power rationing

Apparently in South America, they welcomed 2010 with power problems. You cannot rely upon “green technologies” to fully meet your needs all the time and – in times of shortage – the government will ration the limited resource.


Oil-rich Venezuela ushered in 2010 with new measures rationing electricity use in malls, businesses and billboards, as Hugo Chavez’s government aimed to save power amid a crippling drought.

The new regulations came into effect January 1, with businesses required to comply with reduced consumption limits and authorities warning of forced power cuts and rate hikes if the measures are not followed.

A decree published on Christmas Eve states that commercial centers may operate from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm on the electricity grid, but beyond that establishments would have to operate off-grid, using their own generators.

Venezuela is flush with oil — the country’s primary export — and natural gas, but relies mainly on hydroelectric generation to meet domestic energy demand.

With the country in a widespread drought, late last year Chavez announced a sweeping campaign to reduce widespread energy “waste,” stressing that rationing was necessary to avoid a systemic “collapse.”

The system in Venezuela is thousands of megawatts short of national demands, demand that will take billions of dollars of investment to build up.

But, hey, maybe those new power-plants will lead to a few new “green jobs.”

8 replies
  1. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Venezuela is the Obamanation writ small.  Awash in oil, they have to ration power.  What a great commercial for socialism!

  2. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    I think it says above that electricity is generated w/ hydro, not oil and gas. And it's electric power which is being rationed.

    • Wyndeward
      Wyndeward says:

      Sammy, there are ways to make electricity out of oil and natural gas.

      That said, Chavez will have a hard time coming up with the money to build any sort of plants, dependent on placating the mob as he is.

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      You miss my point, as Wyndeward so aptly pointed out.   The comparison comes from the obvious fact that both the U.S. and Venezuela have energy resources they can't or won't use.  In both cases, it is due to statist/socialist policies.


      We are reinventing the square wheel.

  3. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    If the US did not buy the oil Venezuela has (and get a lot of money for it), it might use it for oil fired electric plants. It may be more cost effective for Venezuela to sell the oil than to burn it at home. It's probably also true that Venezuela does not need to ration oil and gas.

    • Wyndeward
      Wyndeward says:

      All very true and all very besides the point, Sammy.

      Venezuela is running a deficit of something on the order of 16,500 MW.  All the oil and gas the permit the people to buy isn't going to change that.

      Venezuelan oil revenues have been decreasing, year to year, partly due to prices and partly due to Venezuelan nationalization of the oil industry.  Now, some in that country — those who can afford their own generators and go off-grid, may be able to make electricity out of local gas, but that's not a solution, that's making do.

      Chavez's diversion of resources to maintain his popularity with the mob has robbed the state of the resources to maintain and improve themselves, especially when combined with massive arms purchases to support narco-terrorism against Columbia.

    • Steve McGough
      Steve McGough says:

      They may not need to ration oil or gas right now, but a country rich with productive farm and grazing land was rationing food in 2008. The farmers quit producing since they were unable to make any money doing it. I would not put it past Chavez if he demanded "pay-for-play" funds from corporations who drill for oil in country. Oh wait, Hugo nationalized the oil industry in 2006 to help stabilize prices. That did not do much good for the world's price of oil, but the country certainly does have dirt cheap gas. Chavez claims to be a big environmentalist and claims to be disgusted by the pollution-spouting vehicles his subjects buy and drive. Whatever…

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