Venezuela to miss electricity goal

Venezuela will miss President Hugo Chavez goal of building and restoring 4,000 to 6,000 megawatts of generating capacity this year. Electricity Minister Ali Rodriguez, interviewed by Bloomberg, said new fossil-fueled plants this year would add 1,500 megawatts to the system. Even this seems like quite an exaggeration — as of the end of September, new capacity in the system was less than half that, according to the grid manager’s monthly report (PDF). The only way to get a number like 1,500 is if you also include the repairs to some broken-down generators including the natural gas-powered turbine #1 at Planta Centro, which in September and October was producing almost 300 megawatts. Sadly, it’s once again out of service. Meanwhile population growth continues apace, and electricity consumption, currently held down by low output at the basic industries and relatively rainy weather (rather than blazing heat waves), will eventually come back. Bummer dude.