Venezuela formally sets clocks ahead to save power

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Caracas, May 2 (IANS) The Venezuelan government announced that it will shift its time ahead by half an hour to save more electricity as an ongoing severe drought has started to drain hydroelectric dams.

All telecommunications, IT and banking services have already made the change to facilitate the switch which will be put in place from 2.30 p.m, the government said on Sunday.

Jesus Escalona, chief of the country’s timekeeping institution, said that the switch time was chosen with an aim to cause the least disruption for the stock exchanges, flights and ships.

President Nicolas Maduro first made the announcement on April 14.

Since early April, Maduro has rolled out a number of measures to avoid running out of water at the Guri dam, which powers the Simon Bolivar hydroelectric plant, responsible for much of Venezuela’s power.

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In order to maintain its output, the plant needs to have a water level between 240 and 272 metres above sea level.

Minister of Electrical Energy, Luis Motta Dominguez, warned recently that Guri’s water level was just 1.6 metres above its minimal point.



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