[Marxism] venezuela--- energy loss

michael a. lebowitz mlebowit at sfu.ca
Thu Nov 12 07:19:31 MST 2009

Rod Holt wrote:
'S. Artesian was startled, as was I, by the enormous transmission and
distribution losses of electrical power in Venezuela, these amounting
to 22 percent of that produced.'

    If I didn't hear wrong [Fred Fuentes can correct me] the other day, 
the electrical workers federation [FETRAELEC] estimates that there is a 
40% loss in distribution! How that is estimated, I'm unclear. There are, 
to be sure, the outstanding problems of years of inadequate upgrade by 
capitalist distribution firms happy to reap the benefits while the state 
invested in generation, the problem of distance given that small power 
plants were mothballed given the relative expense of running them when 
hydro power was plentiful and cheap-- but I don't know whether this also 
includes an estimate of  the large numbers of people who connect on 
their own to the system without paying. Certainly, the sense of the 
electrical workers is that consumer demand has been rising substantially 
[air conditioning, appliances]-- with rising incomes and new home 
construction; and that doesn't seem likely to taper off [although power 
outages may make folks a bit more hesitant to get larger fridges with 
more food to spoil].

Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6

Director, Programme in 'Transformative Practice and Human Development'
Centro Internacional Miranda, P.H.
Residencias Anauco Suites, Parque Central, final Av. Bolivar
Caracas, Venezuela
fax: 0212 5768274/0212 5777231
mlebowit at sfu.ca

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