Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Alternative Energy Venezuela: OPEC Oil Producer Switches to Wind Power to Increase Exports

Playa Medina, Sucre, Venezuela

Business News Americas reports that Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA aims to boost fuel oil exports by about 100,000 barrels a month through the increased use of wind for electric power generation according to Nervis Villalobos, the president of state-owned electricity firm Cadafe and deputy energy and oil minister.

PDVSA and Cadafe want to take advantage of high international oil prices and at the same time develop an environmentally friendly source of power generation, Villalobos said.

"For PDVSA and for the country, there is an enormous attraction in being able to free up these liquid fuels and export them," Villalobos said.

A barrel of fuel oil "is worth US$4 in the domestic market, while abroad it sells for US$40," Villalobos said.

PDVSA is currently involved in two projects that would use wind to generate electricity, Villalobos said.

The first project was announced by PDVSA president and energy and oil minister Rafael Ramírez in April in the wake of an electricity mishap that left PDVSA's Amuay refinery - part of the CRP refining complex - without power for several days.

This US$50mn venture at Los Taques, a wind-swept stretch of beach in Falcón state near PDVSA's CRP complex, would generate up to 100MW, including 40MW during its first stage.

PDVSA and the Spanish-Venezuelan consortium that designed the project, VER, are currently deciding on how to finance it, Villalobos said. Cadafe would buy 100% of the power generated by the plant.

The project should be up and running "by mid 2007, if it's approved this year," since construction is expected to take at least 18 months, Villalobos said.

The second wind project in the northern part of Sucre state is still in a very early stage, Villalobos said.

Villalobos reiterated Cadafe's estimate of a 9% jump in power demand for Venezuela this year, up from 7% in 2004. If these wind projects are not put in place, more fuel oil will have to be devoted to thermoelectric generation rather than exported, he said.

When major OPEC member countries which get their oil at a fraction of the cost of the rest of the world start switching to alternative energy, isn't it about time for those countries dependent on oil to do more?

Original Business News Americas Article

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Venezuela can boost oil exports by 100,000 barrels/month by developing wind sources, one might think that the US might be able to save in oil imports by doing likewise. It does make good sense that we should save mone on oil and at the same time preserve our country from requiring 25% of all oil produced in the world daily but, unfortunately, logic, good business sense and savings do not seem to apply to our administration which seems to have oil flowing through their veins and stored where one might expect their brains to be.
Adrian Akau
Pahala, Hawaii

6:05 pm, July 04, 2005  
Blogger James said...


Great minds think alike (or at least in a similar direction):


Alternative Energy Blog

2:18 pm, August 31, 2005  

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