Thursday, July 07, 2016

Incentives: Hydroelectric in Haiti

General David Petraeus tells a story of doing some reconstruction in Haiti. They were trying to get a hydroelectric power plant back online and they kept hitting delays. Everyone he spoke to said there were technical glitches, so the generators at the dam were still running on diesel fuel at great expense.

Petraeus went to the dam himself and spoke to the man who'd been maintaining the generators for 20 years. "Why haven't we flipped the switch to start water running through the generators?"

"If I do that, they will stop sending diesel fuel."

"Right, that's what we want. We want to stop spending so much money on diesel fuel and save it for the winter when there is less water to generate electricity."

"But if they stop sending diesel, I won't have any fuel for my truck."

Conversations with Bill Kristol: David Petraeus II

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