Venezuela the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and a large number of small islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea. The capital and largest urban agglomeration is the city of Caracas, it has a territorial extension of 916,445 km2. The continental territory is bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Colombia, Brazil on the south and Tobago to the north-east and on the east by Guyana. With this last country, the Venezuelan government maintains a claim for Guayana Esequiba over an area of 159,542 km2. For its maritime areas, it exercises sovereignty over 71,295 km2 of territorial waters, 22,224 km2 in its contiguous zone, 471,507 km2 of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean under the concept of exclusive economic zone, 99,889 km2 of continental shelf; this marine area borders those of 13 states. The country has high biodiversity and is ranked seventh in the world's list of nations with the most number of species.
There are habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon basin rain-forest in the south via extensive llanos plains, the Caribbean coast and the Orinoco River Delta in the east. The territory now known as Venezuela was colonized by Spain in 1522 amid resistance from indigenous peoples. In 1811, it became one of the first Spanish-American territories to declare independence, not securely established until 1821, when Venezuela was a department of the federal republic of Gran Colombia, it gained full independence as a country in 1830. During the 19th century, Venezuela suffered political turmoil and autocracy, remaining dominated by regional caudillos until the mid-20th century. Since 1958, the country has had a series of democratic governments. Economic shocks in the 1980s and 1990s led to several political crises, including the deadly Caracazo riots of 1989, two attempted coups in 1992, the impeachment of President Carlos Andrés Pérez for embezzlement of public funds in 1993.
A collapse in confidence in the existing parties saw the 1998 election of former coup-involved career officer Hugo Chávez and the launch of the Bolivarian Revolution. The revolution began with a 1999 Constituent Assembly, where a new Constitution of Venezuela was written; this new constitution changed the name of the country to Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The sovereign state is a federal presidential republic consisting of 23 states, the Capital District, federal dependencies. Venezuela claims all Guyanese territory west of the Essequibo River, a 159,500-square-kilometre tract dubbed Guayana Esequiba or the Zona en Reclamación. Venezuela is among the most urbanized countries in Latin America. Oil was discovered in the early 20th century, today, Venezuela has the world's largest known oil reserves and has been one of the world's leading exporters of oil; the country was an underdeveloped exporter of agricultural commodities such as coffee and cocoa, but oil came to dominate exports and government revenues.
The 1980s oil glut led to a long-running economic crisis. Inflation peaked at 100% in 1996 and poverty rates rose to 66% in 1995 as per capita GDP fell to the same level as 1963, down a third from its 1978 peak; the recovery of oil prices in the early 2000s gave. The Venezuelan government under Hugo Chávez established populist social welfare policies that boosted the Venezuelan economy and increased social spending, temporarily reducing economic inequality and poverty in the early years of the regime. However, such populist policies became inadequate, causing the nation's collapse as their excesses—including a uniquely extreme fossil fuel subsidy—are blamed for destabilizing the nation's economy; the destabilized economy led to a crisis in Bolivarian Venezuela, resulting in hyperinflation, an economic depression, shortages of basic goods and drastic increases in unemployment, disease, child mortality and crime. These factors have precipitated the Venezuelan Migrant Crisis where more than three million people have fled the country.
By 2017, Venezuela was declared to be in default regarding debt payments by credit rating agencies. In 2018, the country's economic policies led to extreme hyperinflation, with estimates expecting an inflation rate of 1,370,000% by the end of the year. Venezuela is a charter member of the UN, OAS, UNASUR, ALBA, Mercosur, LAIA and OEI. According to the most popular and accepted version, in 1499, an expedition led by Alonso de Ojeda visited the Venezuelan coast; the stilt houses in the area of Lake Maracaibo reminded the Italian navigator, Amerigo Vespucci, of the city of Venice, Italy, so he named the region Veneziola, or "Little Venice". The Spanish version of Veneziola is Venezuela. Martín Fernández de Enciso, a member of the Vespucci and Ojeda crew, gave a different account. In his work Summa de geografía, he states that the crew found indigenous people who called themselves the Veneciuela. Thus, the name "Venezuela" may have evolved from the native word; the official name was Estado de Venezuela, República de Venezuela, Estados Unidos de Venezuela, a
A power station referred to as a power plant or powerhouse and sometimes generating station or generating plant, is an industrial facility for the generation of electric power. Most power stations contain one or more generators, a rotating machine that converts mechanical power into electrical power; the relative motion between a magnetic field and a conductor creates an electrical current. The energy source harnessed to turn the generator varies widely. Most power stations in the world burn fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas to generate electricity. Others use nuclear power, but there is an increasing use of cleaner renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectric. In 1878 a hydroelectric power station was built by Lord Armstrong at Cragside, England, it used water from lakes on his estate to power Siemens dynamos. The electricity supplied power to lights, produced hot water, ran an elevator as well as labor-saving devices and farm buildings. In the early 1870s Belgian inventor Zénobe Gramme invented a generator powerful enough to produce power on a commercial scale for industry.
In the autumn of 1882, a central station providing public power was built in England. It was proposed after the town failed to reach an agreement on the rate charged by the gas company, so the town council decided to use electricity, it used hydroelectric power for household lighting. The system was not the town reverted to gas. In 1882 the world's first coal-fired public power station, the Edison Electric Light Station, was built in London, a project of Thomas Edison organized by Edward Johnson. A Babcock & Wilcox boiler powered a 125-horsepower steam engine; this supplied electricity to premises in the area that could be reached through the culverts of the viaduct without digging up the road, the monopoly of the gas companies. The customers included the Old Bailey. Another important customer was the Telegraph Office of the General Post Office, but this could not be reached though the culverts. Johnson arranged for the supply cable to be run overhead, via Holborn Newgate. In September 1882 in New York, the Pearl Street Station was established by Edison to provide electric lighting in the lower Manhattan Island area.
The station ran until destroyed by fire in 1890. The station used reciprocating steam engines to turn direct-current generators; because of the DC distribution, the service area was small. In 1886 George Westinghouse began building an alternating current system that used a transformer to step up voltage for long-distance transmission and stepped it back down for indoor lighting, a more efficient and less expensive system, similar to modern system; the War of Currents resolved in favor of AC distribution and utilization, although some DC systems persisted to the end of the 20th century. DC systems with a service radius of a mile or so were smaller, less efficient of fuel consumption, more labor-intensive to operate than much larger central AC generating stations. AC systems used a wide range of frequencies depending on the type of load; the economics of central station generation improved when unified light and power systems, operating at a common frequency, were developed. The same generating plant that fed large industrial loads during the day, could feed commuter railway systems during rush hour and serve lighting load in the evening, thus improving the system load factor and reducing the cost of electrical energy overall.
Many exceptions existed, generating stations were dedicated to power or light by the choice of frequency, rotating frequency changers and rotating converters were common to feed electric railway systems from the general lighting and power network. Throughout the first few decades of the 20th century central stations became larger, using higher steam pressures to provide greater efficiency, relying on interconnections of multiple generating stations to improve reliability and cost. High-voltage AC transmission allowed hydroelectric power to be conveniently moved from distant waterfalls to city markets; the advent of the steam turbine in central station service, around 1906, allowed great expansion of generating capacity. Generators were no longer limited by the power transmission of belts or the slow speed of reciprocating engines, could grow to enormous sizes. For example, Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti planned what would have been the largest reciprocating steam engine built for a proposed new central station, but scrapped the plans when turbines became available in the necessary size.
Building power systems out of central stations required combinations of engineering skill and financial acumen in equal measure. Pioneers of central station generation include George Westinghouse and Samuel Insull in the United States and Charles Hesterman Merz in UK, many others. In thermal power stations, mechanical power is produced by a heat engine that transforms thermal energy from combustion of a fuel, into rotational energy. Most thermal power stations produce steam, so they are sometimes called steam power stations. Not all thermal energy can be transformed into mechanical power, according to the second law of thermodynamics. If this loss is employed as useful heat, for industrial processes or district heating, the power plant is referred to as a cogeneration power plant or CHP plant. In countries where district heating is common, there are dedicated he
Natural gas is a occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting of methane, but including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, or helium. It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years; the energy that the plants obtained from the sun is stored in the form of chemical bonds in the gas. Natural gas is a occurring hydrocarbon used as a source of energy for heating and electricity generation, it is used as a fuel for vehicles and as a chemical feedstock in the manufacture of plastics and other commercially important organic chemicals. Natural gas is called a non-renewable resource. Natural gas is found in deep underground rock formations or associated with other hydrocarbon reservoirs in coal beds and as methane clathrates. Petroleum is another fossil fuel found in close proximity to and with natural gas. Most natural gas was created over time by two mechanisms: thermogenic.
Biogenic gas is created by methanogenic organisms in marshes, bogs and shallow sediments. Deeper in the earth, at greater temperature and pressure, thermogenic gas is created from buried organic material. In petroleum production gas is burnt as flare gas; the World Bank estimates that over 150 cubic kilometers of natural gas are flared or vented annually. Before natural gas can be used as a fuel, but not all, must be processed to remove impurities, including water, to meet the specifications of marketable natural gas; the by-products of this processing include: ethane, butanes and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, water vapor, sometimes helium and nitrogen. Natural gas is informally referred to as "gas" when compared to other energy sources such as oil or coal. However, it is not to be confused with gasoline in North America, where the term gasoline is shortened in colloquial usage to gas. Natural gas was discovered accidentally in ancient China, as it resulted from the drilling for brines.
Natural gas was first used by the Chinese in about 500 BCE. They discovered a way to transport gas seeping from the ground in crude pipelines of bamboo to where it was used to boil salt water to extract the salt, in the Ziliujing District of Sichuan; the discovery and identification of natural gas in the Americas happened in 1626. In 1821, William Hart dug the first natural gas well at Fredonia, New York, United States, which led to the formation of the Fredonia Gas Light Company; the state of Philadelphia created the first municipally owned natural gas distribution venture in 1836. By 2009, 66 000 km³ had been used out of the total 850 000 km³ of estimated remaining recoverable reserves of natural gas. Based on an estimated 2015 world consumption rate of about 3400 km³ of gas per year, the total estimated remaining economically recoverable reserves of natural gas would last 250 years at current consumption rates. An annual increase in usage of 2–3% could result in recoverable reserves lasting less as few as 80 to 100 years.
In the 19th century, natural gas was obtained as a by-product of producing oil, since the small, light gas carbon chains came out of solution as the extracted fluids underwent pressure reduction from the reservoir to the surface, similar to uncapping a soft drink bottle where the carbon dioxide effervesces. Unwanted natural gas was a disposal problem in the active oil fields. If there was not a market for natural gas near the wellhead it was prohibitively expensive to pipe to the end user. In the 19th century and early 20th century, unwanted gas was burned off at oil fields. Today, unwanted gas associated with oil extraction is returned to the reservoir with'injection' wells while awaiting a possible future market or to repressurize the formation, which can enhance extraction rates from other wells. In regions with a high natural gas demand, pipelines are constructed when it is economically feasible to transport gas from a wellsite to an end consumer. In addition to transporting gas via pipelines for use in power generation, other end uses for natural gas include export as liquefied natural gas or conversion of natural gas into other liquid products via gas to liquids technologies.
GTL technologies can convert natural gas into liquids products such as diesel or jet fuel. A variety of GTL technologies have been developed, including Fischer–Tropsch, methanol to gasoline and syngas to gasoline plus. F–T produces a synthetic crude that can be further refined into finished products, while MTG can produce synthetic gasoline from natural gas. STG+ can produce drop-in gasoline, jet fuel and aromatic chemicals directly from natural gas via a single-loop process. In 2011, Royal Dutch Shell's 140,000 barrels per day F–T plant went into operation in Qatar. Natural gas can be "associated", or "non-associated", is found in coal beds, it sometimes contains a significant amount of ethane, propane and pentane—heavier hydrocarbons removed for commercial use prior to the methane being sold as a consumer fuel or chemical plant feedstock. Non-hydrocarbons such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen and hydrogen sulfide must be removed before the natural gas can be transported. Natural gas extracted from oil wells is called casinghead gas (whether or not produced up the a
Electricity generation is the process of generating electric power from sources of primary energy. For electric utilities in the electric power industry, it is the first stage in the delivery of electricity to end users, the other stages being transmission, energy storage and recovery, using the pumped-storage method. A characteristic of electricity is that it is not a primary energy present in nature in remarkable amounts and it must be produced. Production is carried out in power stations. Electricity is most generated at a power plant by electromechanical generators driven by heat engines fueled by combustion or nuclear fission but by other means such as the kinetic energy of flowing water and wind. Other energy sources include geothermal power; the fundamental principles of electricity generation were discovered in the 1820s and early 1830s by British scientist Michael Faraday. His method, still used today, is for electricity to be generated by the movement of a loop of wire, or disc of copper between the poles of a magnet.
Central power stations became economically practical with the development of alternating current power transmission, using power transformers to transmit power at high voltage and with low loss. In 1870, commercial electricity production started with the coupling of the dynamo to the hydraulic turbine. In 1870, the mechanical production of electric power began the Second Industrial Revolution and created inventions using the energy, whose major contributors were Thomas Alva Edison and Nikola Tesla; the only way to produce electricity was by chemical reactions or using battery cells, the only practical use of electricity was for the telegraph. Electricity generation at central power stations started in 1882, when a steam engine driving a dynamo at Pearl Street Station produced a DC current that powered public lighting on Pearl Street, New York; the new technology was adopted by many cities around the world, which adapted their gas-fueled street lights to electric power, soon after electric lights would be used in public buildings, in businesses, to power public transport, such as trams and trains.
The first power plants used water coal. The use of power-lines and power-poles has been important in the distribution of electricity. Several fundamental methods exist to convert other forms of energy into electrical energy; the triboelectric effect, piezoelectric effect, direct capture of the energy of nuclear decay Betavoltaics are used in niche applications, as is direct conversion of heat to electric power in the thermoelectric effect. Utility-scale generation is done by photovoltaic systems. A small proportion of electric power distributed by utilities is provided by batteries. Electric generators transform kinetic energy into electricity; this is based on Faraday's law. It can be seen experimentally by rotating a magnet within closed loops of a conducting material. All commercial electrical generation is done using electromagnetic induction, in which mechanical energy forces a generator to rotate: Electrochemistry is the direct transformation of chemical energy into electricity, as in a battery.
Electrochemical electricity generation is important in mobile applications. Most electrochemical power comes from batteries. Primary cells, such as the common zinc–carbon batteries, act as power sources directly, but secondary cells are used for storage systems rather than primary generation systems. Open electrochemical systems, known as fuel cells, can be used to extract power either from natural fuels or from synthesized fuels. Osmotic power is a possibility at places where fresh water merge; the photovoltaic effect is the transformation of light into electrical energy, as in solar cells. Photovoltaic panels convert sunlight directly to electricity. Although sunlight is free and abundant, solar power electricity is still more expensive to produce than large-scale mechanically generated power due to the cost of the panels. Low-efficiency silicon solar cells have been decreasing in cost and multijunction cells with close to 30% conversion efficiency are now commercially available. Over 40% efficiency has been demonstrated in experimental systems.
Until photovoltaics were most used in remote sites where there is no access to a commercial power grid, or as a supplemental electricity source for individual homes and businesses. Recent advances in manufacturing efficiency and photovoltaic technology, combined with subsidies driven by environmental concerns, have accelerated the deployment of solar panels. Installed capacity is growing by 40% per year led by increases in Germany and the United States; the selection of electricity production modes and their economic viability varies in accordance with demand and region. The economics vary around the world, resulting in widespread selling prices, e.g. the price in Venezuela is 3 cents per kWh while in Denmark it is 40 cents per kWh. Hydroelectric plants, nuclear power plants, thermal power plants and renewable sources have their own pros and cons, selection is based upon the local power requirement and the fluctuations in demand. All power grids have varying loads on them but the daily minimum is the base load, supplied by plants which run continuously.
Nuclear, coal and gas plants can supply base load. Thermal energy is economical in ar