Is Renewable Energy In Venezuela’s Future?

National Economy

The South American country of the República Bolivariana de Venezuela (Venezuela) is bordered by Columbia, Brazil, Guyana, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The population of Venezuela is approximately 28.20 million people[1].

In 2022, Venezuela’s economy was ranked 94th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[2]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export[3] of crude oil, scrap iron, acyclic alcohols, iron ore, crustaceans, and iron reductions.

Environmental Policies

In 2005, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez launched “Sembrando Luz,” a program to build “micro-networks” of hybrid wind and solar projects to harness the nation’s vast renewable energy resources.

In 2016, Venezuela signed the Paris Climate Agreement[4], committing to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of at least 20% relative to business-as-usual projections by 2030.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2020, 100% of the people in Venezuela had access to electricity[5]. In 2021, Venezuela’s state-owned utilities used renewable energy (64.5%) and natural gas (35.5%) to generate electricity in the country[6]. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Venezuela.

The only recent renewable energy project in Venezuela is as follows:

  • 3 MW Solar Project – In June 2021, Venezuelan Minister, Néstor Torres commissioned the first utility scale solar project into the country’s power grid.


Commercial oil was first discovered in Venezuela[7] in 1914 on the eastern shores of Lake Maracaibo. The oil exports have been the cornerstone of Venezuela’s economy over the past one hundred years.

In 2021, Venezuela exported U.S. $232 Million just for refined petroleum. Venezuela was only the 80th largest crude oil[8] exporting country in the world in 2021, as a result of global oil export sanctions.

Venezuela has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including solar, onshore wind, hydropower, offshore wind, and biomass. The government’s stated goal is to replace the nation’s oil and natural gas fueled power plants with utility scale solar power plants.

In 2022, Venezuela had installed only 5.3 MW of photovoltaic solar capacity. Venezuela’s heralded program to harness the country’s vast renewable resources, “Sembrando Luz” is one of many unfulfilled dreams.

Venezuela is suffering from rampant inflation due to the government’s mismanagement of the economy. The nation’s inflation rate sky-rocketed[9] to 436.3% in April 2023 from 344.9% in January 2023.

Is renewable energy in Venezuela’s future? Only if Venezuela is able to turn around the nation’s economy, which continues to spiral out of control.


Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”


Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.



[1] Venezuela  Population (2023) –  ay 25, 2023,

[2] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2022 – Worldometer

[3] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Venezuela

[4] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[5] The World Bank Group, Access to Electricity (% of Population) – Venezuela

[6] Our World In Data, Venezuela: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

[7] Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – Venezuela

[8] Crude Oil Exports By Country 2021 by Daniel Workman

[9] Trading Economics, “Venezuela Inflation Rate,” Data

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