Wind energy in Venezuela: 75 MW wind farm with Impsa’s wind turbines

Venezuela has announced the construction of a 75 MW wind farm which will be incorporated into the national electricity system. It is designed to combat the electrical shortages suffered by the country between 2009 and 2011. The wind farm hopes to produce 10,000 Mw by 2030. While this sounds great, the government also announced that the amount of energy the country will need to stay at 2012 levels is 17,000 Mw.

The scenario is worse still when compared to the largest wind energy producer in the world, China, which achieved a record 62,000 Mw last year. Of course, it goes without saying that China needs a lot of energy as it is a country with more than one billion people—definitely not comparable with Venezuela, an oil producing country, where only 28 million people live and where a tank of gas costs no more than a dollar.

When the energy crisis arose in Venezuela, the government attempted to solve it via educational campaigns encouraging energy saving in the home, but in reality this was not the problem. Hydroelectric plants were not producing enough, half the country was running out of light and it was too late for campaigns. But what to do when your power supply fails you?, You turn to an alternative. That was exactly the problem; Venezuela didn’t have anything that could match its already-tapped hydroelectric resources. Thus it focused on wind.

In Latin America, Brazil is the country that has focused the most on producing renewable energy. It now produces 1,500 MW of energy through wind turbines, and also produces energy through ethanol, biomass, solar and hydro. It is one of the countries that saw the need to wean itself from expensive foreign oil much earlier than most, and as such it now has a more developed alternative-energy system.

The installation of renewable energy infrastructure takes time, money, studies and dedication. They are a solution, but not in the short term. Mexico is also taking steps forward with the largest wind farm in the region the region with the opening of the Oaxaca II, III and IV farms. These hope to produce 12,000 Mw by 2020, which would represent 50% of the countries renewable energy consumption.

Venezuela is one of the best examples that proves investment in renewable energy sources is necessary. It still experiences power rationing, which means that there are outages scheduled to prevent the grid from collapsing. The installation of wind turbines in Guajira is an important step towards establishing an effective energy system, however is one that the Venezuelan government late in the games.

Veronica Figueroa,