Venezuela’s Vice-President Aristobulo Isturiz has announced that the country’s two million state employees will only work Mondays and Tuesdays until the energy crisis that has crippled the country is over.
The announcement follows news that the country is to put the clocks forward by half an hour to reduce demand for electricity in the early evening. The government has also told shopping centres to reduce their opening hours and generate their own energy
Isturiz spoke on national television, saying: “We are requesting international help, technical and financial aid to help revert the situation,” he said. “We are managing the situation in the best possible way while we wait for the rains to return.”
“Several countries in the region have been affected by the drought, caused by El Nino. But Venezuela has the highest domestic consumption of energy.”
Why Is Venezuela Facing An Energy Crisis?
- The strong El Niño of 2015-2016, which has caused drier than normal weather, has dramatically reduced water levels at the Guri hydroelectric dam which provides a significant portion of Venezuela’s electricity.
- Unlike other countries which use hydropower as a significant source of energy, Venezuela has no sufficient reserve energy system to use if there is a problem with hydropower.
- There has been a rapid increase in electricity demand, but insufficient efforts to expand and update infrastructure.
- Economic mismanagement.
- A sharp fall in the price of oil, its main export, which has also led to a steep decline in government revenues.