On November 17, President Hugo Chavez unveiled Mission Energy Revolution, a social project aimed at reducing energy usage in Venezuela. The program was launched in the state of Nuevo Esparta by Chavez, energy minister Rafael Ramirez, other ministers, and representatives of the Cuban government. Ramirez said the mission was aimed not only at rationalising residential electricity consumption, but more fundamentally usage by the industrial and commercial sectors, the November 18 Ultimas Noticias reported.
The mission is to be carried out in three phases, between now and 2012. The primary phase is commencing in six regional areas simultaneously: Zulia, Falcon, Miranda, Carabobo, Nuevo Esparta and the Capital District. This stage is oriented at reducing the electricity consumption in residential areas and public buildings. Fifty-two million energy-saving light bulbs will be installed over the next six months. By the end of this year, they hope to have installed 17 million new light bulbs. They are currently being distributed free of charge in many communities.
The new light bulbs use one-fifth the energy of the old globes and will reduce consumption by 2000 megawatts — saving more than US$2 billion, Ramirez said. More efficient generators are also being installed throughout the country.
The mission includes programs for increasing the use of natural gas, including in motor vehicles; converting diesel power plants to gas; and manufacturing and installing wind- and solar-based electricity systems.
Chavez urged state institutions, offices and enterprises to set an example by reducing energy usage. He said that the state-owned oil company PDVSA, Cadafe (the electrical network) and CVG presently waste considerable energy.
Ramirez said the mission would establish a schedule for the reduction in energy usage by the state enterprises. "A revolution is obliged to be efficient", Chavez concluded.