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Electric ills

After yesterday’s announcement that government working hours will be cut to save electricity, Nicolas Maduro tried to justify the measures in his weekly TV show by putting most (if not all) of the blame on sorry-ass consumers and especially on their overuse of Air Conditioning and TV sets. His response? Launching “a really nice PR campaign”…

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Dim Wattage

See if you can detect the tension between these two recent news items: April 17th: In an interview with Barquisimeto newspaper El Impulso, Electrical Engineer Luis Vásquez Corro said that if there’s no rain in coming days (due to the El Niño phenomenon) Guri hydro-electric plant would be forced to shut down its turbines. Two days later,…

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The electric crisis is about to get worse

An excellent, alarming piece by César Batiz in Clímax highlights the coming gloom for Venezuelans: Guri, the country’s most important dam, is not getting enough water. The dry period is about to begin, and thermal plants do not have enough installed capacity available. After a reported $38 billion spent on revamping the country’s electricity generating sector (Derwick gets a…

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What drives the blackouts?

In case you missed it, there was another nationwide blackout eleven days ago which caught Nicolas Maduro offguard right in the middle of a cadena broadcast. This new failure in the power grid wasn’t the only problem recently: the people of Maturin lost all electricity for almost an entire week thanks to “hurricane-like winds” that…

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Lightbulb Fiasco

Way back in 2006, the comandante eterno launched a brand new mission: Energy Revolution (Misión Revolución Energética), which intended to promote “the efficient and rational use of electricity”. Even if the plan also included developing alternative sources of energy in the long term (and unsurprisingly that’s hasn’t gone well so far), its main priority was…