ICE 2022


Energy, as a key enabler for sustainable development, is a multidimensional issue that revolves around intertwined variables such as technology, society, environment, and politics. Energy resources are the biggest opportunity for rapid development that many poor countries have. Unfortunately, for many of them, it’s been a missed opportunity. This is the case of Venezuela; despite its substantial available natural resources, the country faces a severe energy crisis that translates into a widespread shortage of domestic gas, transport fuel, and also frequent and unpredictable blackouts. In addition, Venezuela is currently undergoing the worst economic crisis in its history: ongoing hyperinflation plus the lowest rankings of GDP portray the currency instability. However, this was not always the case, due to the oil-fueled boom of the 70s, the country became known as “Saudi Venezuela”. Already by the 50s it had the 4th richest GDP per capita on Earth and was 12 times richer than China. Naturally, the rise and fall of this “Petrostate” shaped its particular energy context. To propose a thorough solution to this complex emergency, the authors attempt to identify the root causes of the Venezuelan energy crisis by analyzing the evolution of its energy framework. To decode opportunities, the authors present a catalog of the Venezuelan energy potential of both non-renewable and renewable resources, compiled by research and collected data of well-known resources such as fossil fuels but also offering insight into neglected energy sources such as geothermal or nuclear. Furthermore, the authors examine the potential and limits regarding energy infrastructure projects in Venezuela, to identify priorities in terms of investment and a rapid yet feasible recovery from the crisis. A short-term roadmap (30 years) of solutions is presented while taking into consideration cultural challenges, technological needs, socioeconomic priorities, environmental context, and viable policies. The discussion leads to the identification of multilateral strategies that must be implemented in a synchronized manner to be effective. Solutions are presented with a holistic approach, to help Venezuela recover from its most urgent socio-economic needs while heading towards a new stage of energy transition in which clean energy, science, and sustainable criteria lead the road towards prosperity. Based on the 2nd place of the “Venezuela Energy Solutions for the Future"" Case Competition.