Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Renewable Energy in Venezuela

A hydroelectric dam in Venezuela.
Click for photo credit.
As noted in my previous posts this week, I am taking a bit of a departure from my normal posts and focusing this week on Venezuela.  Today, I thought I would review a small bit of information about renewable energy in Venezuela.  The country is moving into renewables for local consumption even thought it is the 8th largest petroleum exporter in the world and has the 2nd largest reserve of natural gas in the western hemisphere.  Here is an article on the move into renewables for background.  South America has tremendous fossil fuel resources, but has also been involved with renewable energy development for decades, largely in the form of hydroelectric and biofuel production. 

Venezuela has a goal of becoming one of the leaders in renewable energy in South America.  However, Paraguay already receives 100% of its energy from renewable sources (hydroelectric).  Venezuela too receives most of its domestic electricity (72%) from hydropower.  Yet, this form of energy has proven vulnerable due to droughts.

A quick scan of the Internet revealed that there are projects or plans underway to build wind farms on the Venezuelan coast as well as large solar farms.  Plus, Venezuela also plans to expand their hydroelectric systems to expand domestic energy production overall.

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