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In an effort to diversify its heavily fossil-fuel-dependent electricity sector and at the same time meet rising demand, Nicaragua is putting its eggs in the hydroelectricity basket, opting for conventional large-scale dams despite growing international awareness about their social and environmental drawbacks. Currently about 80% of Nicaragua's electricity comes from petroleum-burning generating plants, making the impoverished, non-oil-producing Central America nation particularly vulnerable to external market factors. Sky-high oil prices put a serious crimp in electricity production in 2006, when Nicaragua suffered periodic blackouts. Nowadays, the problem has more to do with supply, as delays in shipments of subsidized oil from Venezuela are threatening a new energy crisis. "Because of all the problems we\'re having, we can expect electricity generation to be more expensive in the coming months," energy expert Narciso Mayorga explained during a seminar held March 12 by the Instituto Nicaraguense de Defensa de los Consumidores (Indec). "Remember, our matrix depends on oil for 80%. To reverse this situation, we need major investments for the promotion of renewable-energy projects."