Venezuela scored 0.32 to finish second-last (above only Suriname) among the 55 nations surveyed by Climatescope 2014.
Given its power sector monopoly, high market risk and heavy reliance on large hydro and cheap oil generation, it comes as no surprise that the country ranked near the bottom in all four parameters assessed.
The country is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of crude oil. This is reflected in its high GDP ($408bn in 2013) and its power mix, which boasts 6.7GW of crude oil-fired generation capacity and 6GW of natural gas. It is also one of the world’s biggest large hydro generators, with 14.5GW of capacity that represents more than half of its total 28GW of installed capacity. The nation’s abundant hydro resources together with subsidies for oil-based generation leave little space for clean energy projects – the 64MW of installed renewable capacity represents just 0.2% of the national total.
Venezuela’s state-controlled power sector and its general macroeconomic conditions have kept private players at arm’s length. Venezuela has almost 100% grid-coverage and its electricity prices are heavily subsidized. In 2013, the average retail rate was $0.02/kWh, the lowest in Latin America and the Caribbean. Looking ahead, given the challenging macroeconomic and power sector scenario, renewables will have a tough time increasing its penetration.