Re: [OPE] Electricity problems

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Sun Oct 26 2008 - 17:24:19 EDT

Quoting Jurriaan Bendien <>:

> SAN FELIX, Venezuela (Reuters) - Despite having some of the world's largest
> energy reserves, Venezuela is increasingly struggling to maintain basic
> electrical service, a growing challenge for leftist President Hugo Chavez.
> The OPEC nation has suffered three nationwide blackouts this year, and
> chronic power shortages have sparked protests from the western Andean
> highlands to San Felix, a city of mostly poor industrial workers in the
> sweltering south. Shoddy electrical service is now one of Venezuelans' top
> concerns, according to a recent poll, and may be a factor in elections next
> month for governors and mayors in which Chavez allies are expected to lose
> key posts, in part on complaints of poor services. The problem suggests that
> Chavez, with his ambitious international alliances and promises to end
> capitalism, risks alienating supporters by failing to focus on basic issues
> like electricity, trash collection and law enforcement.

The BBC this evening report that as a result of electricity privatisation
the margin of excess capacity this winter in Britain is about 800 Mw, or
around 1.5% of demand. We production was centrally planned by the state
the safety margin was typically 20%. A consequence is that electricity
prices, which are set by short term criteria have risen to around 30p
per kwh although production prices are closer to 10p per kw by international
There is a high probablilty of power shortages occuring, or alternatively
of prices beeing bid up so high that pensioners, the poor on pre pay meters
etc, just get cut off to make supply and demand meet.

A pretty devastating record, which clearly shows the superiority of
state planning.

> Meanwhile in New Zealand, the Premier. Mrs Clark, complained that the
> directors of one of the companies in the privatized system got huge pay
> increases for what is a parttime job although power charges are rising 10-12%
> J.

Paul Cockshott

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Received on Sun Oct 26 17:31:47 2008

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