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Venezuela begins power rationing as hydropower failure bites

February 16, 2016

By Paul Homewood 



The Venezuelan government has ordered all shopping malls in the country to either shut down power or generate their own electricity as part of a rationing strategy in response to a worsening hydroelectric power crisis.
President Nicolás Maduro’s plan will force more than 100 shopping malls to close for hours on weekdays unless they can generate their own electricity.

Venezuela shopping mall

Under the three-month plan, malls have to find their own power sources from 1 to 3 p.m. and again from 7 to 9 p.m., according to the Electricity Ministry, adding the measure would help
Venezuela cope with a severe drought weighing on its hydroelectric plants.
The country has poured billions into developing its power grid since another electricity crisis in 2009, however problems have persisted.
Business interests have protested at the situation as the wider economy suffers. The International Monetary Fund estimated the economy would contract 8 per cent this year after shrinking 10 per cent in 2015, making Venezuela the world’s worst-performing economy, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Electricity Minister Luis Motta said on state television Wednesday that power cuts wouldn’t be applied on weekends and denied that his ministry was limiting business hours. “We’re just asking for self-generation,” he said.
Malls are an important aspect of Venezuelan life, as the country’s crime problem has made them more attractive and secure than city streets.


It is ironic that Venezuela is sat on a sea of oil, yet chooses to rely on an unreliable source of power, which is at the mercy of the weather.

  1. David Richardson permalink
    February 16, 2016 12:37 pm

    Interesting Paul – and in other, but related, business

  2. Ex-expat Colin permalink
    February 16, 2016 12:50 pm

    Its only he people that are hurt…no worry there!

  3. BLACK PEARL permalink
    February 16, 2016 1:11 pm

    “It is ironic that Venezuela is sat on a sea of oil, yet chooses to rely on an unreliable source of power, which is at the mercy of the weather.”

    Yes we seem to have a lot in common

    Yet our Govt steamrollers ahead in building subsidised wind wheels

  4. Wally permalink
    February 16, 2016 1:28 pm

    The world is in the grip of carbonphobia

  5. tom0mason permalink
    February 16, 2016 6:30 pm

    sorry this is very off topic but from here there now appears to be this…

    You may find this useful…

    • catweazle666 permalink
      February 16, 2016 7:38 pm


  6. February 16, 2016 7:19 pm

    Conventional oil production in Venezuela peaked in 1998 according to BP Stat Rev. And is now down by about a third to under 2mbpd. They need to sell all that to keep the socialist country ‘afloat’. That is why they over relied on hydro. Most of its remaining reserves are the extraheavy Orinoco tar sands that have to be upgraded. The extra extraction cost is ~$10/bbl and the upgrade cost is ~$30/bbl for a total hit of $40/bbl. Basket case country from self inflicted wounds.

  7. AndyG55 permalink
    February 16, 2016 8:15 pm

    Tasmania may not be far behind. Basslink from Victoria is still down, and the hydro dams are getting very low.

    Thank goodness they hadn’t dismantled the Bell Point gas powered station.

  8. Gamecock permalink
    February 18, 2016 2:23 am

    Venezuela has 100 shopping malls? Who knew? All the reports I see say the country’s economy is a basket case. Pic at top could be anywhere in the U.S.

  9. April 12, 2016 1:59 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

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