In 2021, Venezuela's electricity consumption stood at roughly 311 watts per person, significantly below the global average of 412 watts per person. The majority of this electricity was generated from low-carbon sources. In fact, about 80% of the total, equivalent to 248 watts per person, came from low-carbon energy, with hydropower being the leading contributor at nearly 248 watts per person. Fossil energy, a significant contributor to carbon emissions, accounted for approximately 62 watts per person. Clean energy sources like wind and solar contributed relatively minor amounts, at 0.34 and 0.01 watts per person, respectively. This relatively low overall consumption compared to the global average could affect socio-economic development in the country since access to reliable electricity is crucial for industries, commercial businesses, and households. Despite these domestic consumption levels, Venezuela is a net exporter of electricity.
Having examined successful models in other countries, Venezuela can enhance its low-carbon electricity generation by tapping more into nuclear and wind power. For instance, Sweden and France generate high amounts of electricity from nuclear energy, at 559 and 526 watts per person respectively, showing its potential for high-capacity electricity generation. Given Venezuela’s tropical climate and vast coastlines, the country might also consider emulating successful wind power generations like Denmark, which produces almost 369 watts per person from wind. Other similar countries, like Uruguay with 160 watts per person generated from wind, present good models for clean energy growth.
Venezuela's history with low-carbon electricity is mainly tied to the use of hydroelectric power. Significant increases in hydroelectric generation were recorded consistently from the mid-1980s towards the end of the century, with the most notable surge of 9.5 TWh occurring in 2004. The new millennium, however, heralded a more volatile era for hydroelectric power in Venezuela. From 2010 onwards, the country experienced periods of decline in hydroelectric generation, with sharp falls of 19.3 TWh in 2014 and by 11.9 TWh in 2016 and 2018 respectively. Inspite of this, there were also years of considerable growth, such as the increase of 10.6 TWh in 2015 and a remarkable rebound with an increase of 11.6 TWh in 2020.