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 29.00 million people.
In 2021, Venezuela’s economy was ranked 135th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of scrap iron, acyclic alcohols, iron ore, crustaceans, and iron reductions.
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, committing to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of at least 20% relative to business-as-usual projections by 2030.
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 the government’s many unfulfilled dreams.
Power Generation Capabilities
In 2021, 84.5% of the people in Venezuela had access to electricity. In 2021, Venezuela’s state-owned utilities used renewable energy (64.5%), natural gas (24.5%), and refined petroleum (11.0%) to generate electricity in the country. 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.
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.
Venezuela is suffering from rampant inflation due to the government’s mismanagement of the economy. The nation’s inflation rate sky-rocketed to 317.63% in September 2023 from 155.8% in October 2022.
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.
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, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.