Venezuela Green Energy Emergency Shutdown

Represa de Macagua, Macagua Dam, Venezuela - By Tico estudiante - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Represa de Macagua, Macagua Dam, Venezuela – By Tico estudianteOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t JoNova – Venezuela, a major oil exporter, has ordered an emergency week long industrial shutdown, to try to prevent electricity demands from exceeding their available hydroelectric reserves.

Venezuela to Shut Down for a Week to Cope With Electricity Crisis

Venezuela is shutting down for a week as the government struggles with a deepening electricity crisis.
President Nicolas Maduro gave everyone an extra three days off work next week, extending the two-day Easter holiday, according to a statement in the Official Gazette published late Tuesday. Maduro had originally said over the weekend that the extended holiday would only apply to state employees.

The government has rationed electricity and water supplies across the country for months and urged citizens to avoid waste as Venezuela endures a prolonged drought that has slashed output at hydroelectric dams. The ruling socialists have blamed the shortage on the El Nino weather phenomena and “sabotage” by their political foes, while critics cite a lack of maintenance and poor planning.

“We’re hoping, God willing, rains will come,” Maduro said in a national address Saturday. “Look, the saving is more than 40 percent when these measures are taken. We’re reaching a difficult place that we’re trying to manage.”

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Is this a taste of things to come, if greens succeed in convincing the world to embrace renewables on a large scale? Industry forced to stop production, workers laid off, depending on which way the wind blows, or whether it rained last winter?

One can only imagine the impact such arbitrary green industrial shutdowns must be having, on any remaining Venezuelan businesses. Unplanned plant shutdowns can easily lead to financial ruin – job layoffs, plant closures, bankruptcy and destitution.

88 thoughts on “Venezuela Green Energy Emergency Shutdown

  1. It’s partly Maduro buying support with a declared holiday. Most of that “free” time will be spend searching for goods and medicine.

  2. Venezuela’s energy crisis has been a long time brewing. Numerous articles on the subject can be found at (but only if you read Spanish.) It has more to do with corruption and “Bolivarian” socialism than an aversion to fossil fuels. But El Nino and Yankee colonialism provide a convenient excuse to draw attention away from mismanagement of the thermal power installations.

    • Juan,
      + several
      I haven’t been there for a decade or so, but the corruption was tangible, and the socialism worse – I thought – than Romania in the ‘good old days’, when the Ceausescu family were busy despoiling and raping a nation.


  3. From the article:

    Maduro had originally said over the weekend that the extended holiday would only apply to state employees.

    I’m surprised the extra days for the state employees weren’t enough.That alone should have cut electricity use by 85% or better ;o)

  4. “Is this a taste of things to come, if greens succeed in convincing the world to embrace renewables on a large scale?” Yes, by design.

    • An old lady, lamenting the collapse of the USSR, said that communism was a wonderful system, if they could just invent people who didn’t need to eat.

      • Crispin,

        In his recent book on Stalin, Martin Amis noted the two hallmarks of socialism are Famine and Failure. Says it all.

    • It help reduce obesity if there is nothing to eat for a week. I should be careful suggesting that here in case it is seen as a good idea. But then the Blue Labour government are more interested in coming up with taxes on sugar in the hope – not unfounded as other countries found – of it making no difference to consumption so the taxes roll in.

    • Well I think I have discovered your problem there.

      Nobody needs either ‘dish’ or for that matter ‘sham’-poo. Get the real poo; it’s free. What’s the bleach for. The bar soap will do both the laundry, and the hair, also works for shaving. Wash face with bar soap; scrape off bar soap with razor blade. Don’t need toothpaste either, there’s a secret recipe.

      (a) put toothbrush in mouth; (b) scrub. The minty toothpaste is only needed to get the kid to do (a). Honey works just as well. Don’t need the sugar either; honey works just as well.


    • Thank you for your link to Wiki showing a graph of shortages with respect to time. Note the shape of the curve is a Hockey Stick, with a lump in the shaft where they tried to tamp down the Medieval Shortage Period .

  5. We should let our government run more of the economy. Socialism(bureaucracy) is much more efficient and fair than capitalism. Do I really need a sarcasm tag?

  6. I have the impression that some greens see that sort of forced conservation as a good thing. They state there is no techological solution to shortages, so that justifies blocking anyone who does try.

  7. There is a lot of interesting science discussion on this site, but somehow trying to connect the horrible things happening in Venezuela to green energy instead of to its incredibly corrupt and dictatorial government is ignorant and plain wrong.

    • Hey benben…NEWSFLASH: They are a major energy exporter with some of the largest reserves of fossil fuels in the entire world…but they seem to have no back up plan for how to get electricity if there is a drought.
      Considering that dry years always have and always will occur, I think it is entirely appropriate to point out the incredible shortsightedness and lack of good planning that is causing the hardship there.
      And since in order to generate electricity they have to release water from the dams, the lack of rainfall causes a shortage of both water and power.
      Explain how a shortage of water and electricity in a country which is mostly tropical rainforest and has huge reserves of energy is not world-class f**k-up?

      • Well they could always burn the rain forest to generate electricity. You just don’t have enough imagination ! Well alternatively; what was it you wanted the electricity for ?? Burn the rain forest to do that.
        And ban finger toys.


    • “Socialism” likes the “sustainable” values … forced management in a manner that puts incentive to perform below other “socially redeeming” characteristics. If Venezuela did not jump into the sustainable Green energy bandwagon (as is dictated by its socialist values) it could possibly be a thriving country.

      “Ignorant and plain wrong” is assuming that a country (ANY COUNTRY) can force green energy, and its ultimate inevitable failures, onto its citizens without being somewhat corrupt and dictatorial.

      “socialism” “sustainable” “green”

      It doesn’t matter how you get there, you absolutely cannot get there without being corrupt throughout.

    • There is a similarity in the degrees of over reach here and the Climate Change Cultural Revolution that needs to be examined and discussed.

    • ahhh.. well, hey if you guys want to talk about politics, then Venezuela is a great place to show how terrible socialism can work out (although it would be more accurate to say that it’s a dictatorship, Venezuelan government has nothing to do with socialism as practiced in northern Europe). But somehow pretending that hydro power is the cause of problems is a country as messed up as Venezuela is just plain deceiving yourself.

      • benben commented: “…Venezuelan government has nothing to do with socialism as practiced in northern Europe)….”

        No country in the world practices pure, or even close to pure, Socialism.

      • Very true. That kind of understanding of political philosophy seems to be lacking on a site like this, where the average commenter thinks that everything left of John Kasich equates to stalinism. Oh well.

    • Green energy/climate change is simply a political ploy to have more fascist governments. Corrupt and dictatorial government is the cause of investing in this ploy.

    • Would anyone be able to point me to a site showing graphs comparing unadjusted temperature records vs adjusted temperature records please?

    • Yes, we should add DPRK to the long list of “how to brag that you are green, damn the actual facts and consequences”.

      Further entries would be:

      1) Germany shutting down dirty East German plants that they weren’t going to keep open anyway
      2) German shutting down its nukes to placate the Greens, then buying power from fully nuked France
      3) Sweden shutting down its nukes to placate the Greens, the buying power from coal-fired Denmark
      4) Thatcher shutting down the British coal industry to break the union and facing attacks from the left anyway

      Have I missed any?

    • The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is nearly finished work on their EMP weapon. A preemptive strike on the US will return much of the country to horse and buggy technology, leaving North Korea years ahead of the US in development.

      Everyone thinks North Korea is a joke, so they ignore the very real risk. The early Soviet style layer cake fusion weapon doesn’t have the blast force of modern 2 stage fusion weapons, but it is an ideal EMP weapon. All that is required is a ballistic missile to reach North America. It doesn’t even have to be very accurate.

      A madman with nuclear weapons should not be dismissed simply because he is mad.

  8. Off topic, can anyone direct me to a site where I can compare global adjusted vs unadjusted temperate records?

    • Note that edits to data made to datasets after about 1990 tended to increasingly make it appear the Earth was rapidly warming, via trying to making the past look so much colder that it was recorded as being.

      Marvelous innit, how prior to 1990 all meteorologist were making their own time look hotter what it was, nt just in th USA, but all over the world meteorologists were doing this, and the further you go back, remarkably, they were all doing it more.

      What scoundrels, eh?

      But of course the people who recorded those observations and scrupulously recorded this data, sure didn’t think such a level of over reading of temperature existed in their daily record! This was from a time of prim Victorian and European hard science empiricism operating on several continents when rigor of measurement and record logging and keeping were everything.

      But according to present day data ‘editors’, who have edited the past data records prior to about 1990, the thousands of people on multiple continents were ALL cooking the numbers to make the past look hotter!

      A conspiracy … apparently .. my lord … how did they manage it? … such global coordination to fudge then date … and almost no means of coordination! … maybe they used carrier pigeons to pull it off?

      Or not.

      Is it simply the other way around? Maybe the data is more or less accurate and the real scoundrels are the data reviewers and ‘editors’ of today, fiddling the past records, in our time, of someone else’s scientific records from another time?

      On what grounds do they have for asserting that all the recorders and all the records were read high back then?

      But remember that back then no one knew what the records would depict over time, but now we have a herd of religious believers who are in direct constant communication, who believe the data should be what they believe, so systematically altered it.

      Ask yourself, id it was not deliberate bias being introduced to the data, based on nothing but a post-1985 belief, then why do the altered datasets always show it colder in the past than was actually recorded in the past, and never even hotter in the past than was recorded in the past, from early last century?

      Why is it always a completely unexplained pronounced one-sided adjustment to make the past look colder that was recorded?

      In this Orwellian version of ‘meteorology’, that is pretending to be “climate science”, we are not to ask such questions, as it is now a consensus of “settled science”.

      You decide who’s a crook, all the past observers? Or all the present-day pretend ‘climate science’ editors of past records.

  9. Would anyone be able to point me to a site showing graphs comparing unadjusted temperature records vs adjusted temperature records please?

  10. …Socialism works great, until you run out of Other Peoples Money ! Then they run out of people, due to starvation !

  11. Australia’s Green state (Tasmania) has an electricity crisis and is now running on dirty diesel
    Through profiteering and bad planning the Tasmanian hydro dams now are only 15% full. Tasmania shut down “back up” gas power last August, and then the only cable across Bass Strait broke in December. So they are now flying in diesel generators to keep the lights on. The wind turbines just don’t work well enough when you need them.

    There was only one power cable to the mainland. All generation relied heavily on hydro. The dams were run down to sell electricity to Victoria when the (ex) Carbon Tax made it more profitable. Then the government commissioned the Tamar Gas power station as a back up, built it, but then gave it to Tasmanian Hydro, which cannabilised it and shut it down in order to sell it off. The project was started in 2009, and the new plant was decommissioned in August 2015, just four months before the cable broke.
    The Tamar Valley gas station cost a quarter of a billion dollars to build and was still in brand new condition when decommissioned.

    Tasmania was already in the middle of a dry spell; but Hydro Tasmania savaged the State’s stored hydro energy supply to less than 30% just before summer.
    Tasmania is now reliant on the ‘dirtiest’ forms of fossil fuel for its survival.

    The cable won’t be fixed until June, when the dams will be down to 6% full, and the eco-greens in government don’t want to burn coal, and don’t want to make electricity using hydro calling it “environmental vandalism”. If the Greens had not supported the closure of the gas power station they might have saved more flora and fauna in the dam valleys now.

    Let’s call it “Fossil Fuels for Flora and Fauna”.

    • When you have people like Bob Brown (Former Greens party leader) in his departing speech starting with stuff like…”My fellow earthicans…” you know there is something very wrong with Tassie!

    • They have industry?
      take from the poor and give to the rich. millions to be made that way. the poor are the least able to get their money back, and they would just waste it on drink. you are doing them a favor.

      • “take from the poor and give to the rich. millions to be made that way. the poor are the least able to get their money back, and they would just waste it on drink. you are doing them a favor.”

        that’s logically self contradictory and plainly false.
        the poor, by definition, have nothing to take, duh,.
        you are parroting the socialist party line they use to justify stealing from ‘da rich’ to give to ‘da poor’.
        it is a false narrative.
        find a safe space for stupid if you need to because it’s become intolerable.

      • “gnomish March 18, 2016 at 7:23 pm”

        The rich do indeed steal from the poor, it’s just a little more subtle, which clearly you don’t see. The “poor”, those people who have to work, pay taxes. They cannot not pay taxes, because tax is taken at source. The “rich” can employ clever accountants to “evade” tax in which that burden falls on those who cannot evade. A classic example of this in Australia is negative gearing on properties. Owners write off their tax liabilities which is picked up by the “poor”.

      • no, patrickmjd
        the real world is a much much bigger place than your severely parochial vision.
        you may not really have any clear idea what poverty is, either.

        if you choose utter dependence, then whine about it, it’s on you.
        if you beg for freedom, you just plain don’t get the notion, period.
        nobody has to indulge your alibi.

      • “gnomish

        March 19, 2016 at 1:29 am”

        Your reasoning brain is void of “glucose” (Too much processed sugar I suspect. Diet?).

  12. Watermelons in a drought are not a pretty sight.
    When they run out of OPM the view is even worse.

  13. “We’re hoping, God willing, rains will come,”
    So now the atheist socialists are hoping that God will come and bail them out.

  14. Atlas shrugged.

    So do I. Nothing will improve in Venezuela until the Socialist are driven from power.

  15. Lets see you take the following actions

    1) Fix prices at a level lower than the cost of production or prices in neighbouring states
    2) Control imports so any shortfall cannot be met
    3) Tell people that the shortages of food are because they eat too much
    4) Seize stocks of food and other products from stores and warehouses
    5) Run out of electricity and fuel in a country with the highest Petroleum reserves on the planet

    Somehow it comes as a surprise that the people blame you.

    Who would have guessed – anyone but a left wing socialist.

    • And somehow our universities churn out millions of students who are convinced capitalism is evil and who are determined that all the above failures will make their world a better place.

  16. A member of OPEC can’t provide enough electricity for its small country. Pathetic, Socialism, Environmentalism at its best.

  17. This article has nothing to do with global warming, climate change, “climate science” or climatology. It’s just about bad management and bad luck in a country where bad management has been the norm.

    I have seen not a word about Venezuela having made any moves towards “sustainable” or “renewable” energy, so the word “green” in the title is a bit misleading.

    It is of course a great opportunity for commenters to rant on about the evils of socialism. Again.

  18. Meanwhile, Cuba has just bestowed its highest honor on Maduro ahead of Obama’s visit to Cuba. Way to go Maduro. sarc

  19. The situation in Venezuela can be explained by gross mismanagement and massive world-record corruption. For the last 17 years, money budgeted for maintenance was pocketed by politically appointed executives and officials. For the last 15 years there has been no transparent accounting within the oil industry, the power industry or any of the government run agencies. Resulting in a huge feeding frenzy on government allocated funds. At the same time meritocracy was been displaced by political loyalty, especially with respect to influential military officials, in order to ensure loyalty and prevent threats from this sector.
    So, during the oil boom, where income of over $1 trillion dollars came into Venezuela from oil expoets, most of this money was stolen. Right now the national oil company has to import light oil from the US, as diluent for their heavy crude projects. Inflation is the highest in the world, and there is no availability of food medecine or manufactured goods. 85% of all food in imported.
    Government propaganda preaches of an economic war through a controlled press, by the U.S. against Venezuela, to displace the public outrage against gross incompetence.
    They use of all of the hot buttons from the green movement are also part of this propaganda.
    I recently recall reading about PDVSA’s intention to begin exploiting the La Luna Fm. oil shales in lake Maracaibo, while the government railed against the evils of “fracking” in the US.

    This hypocracy reminds me of Ecuador’s president Correa’s effort to pull in $3 billion dolars in donations from the green movement, so as not to develop the ITT heavy oil complex in the upper Amazon drainage. Eliciting these fund to save the rainforest.
    After a few years, and a paltry $47 million. Correa quietly awarded dvelopment of ITT to the Chinese.

    With these people, it’s all about external perception and propaganda.

  20. It’s been a little while coming. See this article from Tuesday 11 March 2014 02.15 GMT.

    IF you want to see how to destroy an economy and a society, look no further than Venezuela. One year after the death of Hugo Chavez, its disastrous communist president, the country is on the verge of total collapse under his equally appalling successor Nicolas Maduro.

    Food is running out, as are other essentials, even though the country claims the world’s largest oil reserves. There are shortages of toilet paper and soap, empty shelves and massive crowds queuing for hours in front of supermarkets. Patients are sometimes having to buy their own medicines; doctors are warning that 95 per cent of hospitals have only five per cent of the supplies they need. The central bank’s scarcity index has reached a record of 28 per cent, which means that more than one in four basic goods are out of stock at any time; and the situation has worsened considerably since the figures were last compiled.

  21. Isn’t Socialism great!?

    Venezuela has the largest oil reserves on the planet, yet now has shortages of electricity…., toilet paper, coffee, milk, chicken, meat, vegetable oil, soap, diapers, batteries, etc., etc., etc.,…

    This is what happens when a country is ranked 176th out of 178 countries in economic freedom..

    Centrally controlled economies work very inefficiently and unproductively because price discovery is removed, which leads to the misallocation of finite land, labor and capital.

  22. All Government is socialist and corrupt. They do whatever it takes to retain their power and gain more. Their is no way to do that without some form of corruption. The government produces nothing to trade away like in free markets using capitalism. They have to take stuff and give it to others to gain their political wealth.

    The US constitutional systems has mechanism to prevent government corruption but as you can see with Hillary and Obama it can be worked around. There are people in government, universities, unions, 501c3 groups, think tanks, lawyers, etc, who work night and day to figure out how to destroy the constitution for their own gain.

    And guess what? The media is suppose to help prevent the government and their ilk from taking from us by informing the people of what is going on. But they gain political power by going along with the corrupt. That is why our constitutional system is breaking down, no one is minding the store except sites like WUWT and others who are informing at a grass roots level.

    The Green movement is just a tool the government uses to take the power. The MSM and a lot of others are making large sums of money off the this transfer of power from the people to the government. The green movement (CAGW) is the most corrupt scheme ever that government has devised to take from the people besides socialism. At least socialism says what it is doing when the green movement lies about what it is doing.

    Their will be push back from the people that will need to be larger than the force of the corruption. The longer and more power the corrupt government gets, the larger and more powerful the push back will need to be from us.

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