Tropico 5 Power Plant Shortage Fix

Never worry about your power plants randomly stopping again!

In Tropico 5 there are plenty of hurdles required to get a real grasp of the game. Getting the people to actually approve of you, dealing with the rebels even when you have 100% of the vote, and actually learning how the confusing economic system works. Once you have mastered those, one problem will still likely plague you. The power plant decides to stop working with no legitimate reason in sight.

This article will show you how to create a system where your power plant should rarely, if ever, quit working. We have to explore the reasons why it happens to stop it from happening. Once you know how to set up the power plants, it should be easier to keep your power levels high enough to run the whole island.

The coal or uranium supply is getting sent to the docks

Once the storage on your power plant is full, any extra resources mined while it is full get sent to the docks instead for sale. This can seem harmless at first since you're clearly mining more than you need, but by the time the teamsters get back around to bringing more supplies to your power plant, you might be out at the mine with thousands sitting at the docks and no way to get it back to your plant. In order to prevent this, you need to create a self-contained supply chain for the plant. The only pieces required will be the power plant, the supply, and a teamsters office.

You can build everything as normal and then remove any roads that lead to the docks. Once your teamsters office only has one supply and one demand, they will only deliver to the power plant. 100% of your coal or uranium will get used by the power plant. 100%! No blackouts due to "shortages" caused by missed deliveries. The power plants above are all using the Gas Turbines upgrade to use the natural gas from the oil deposit. There are no docks for the teamsters office to accidentally ship away my natural gas.

The workers are finding better jobs

Ever wonder why you start having outages right when you reach the modern age? It's not always because you're using too much power. It's usually because that nice office just opened down the street and it offers much better work conditions than your silly power plant. Who cares if it's nuclear? You can work in an office instead! Your power plants need to have an uncontested job quality. You already need college level citizens to run it, don't strain an already tough job market.

The power plant starts with a job quality of 60, which isn't that strong in the Modern Era for a college level job. The easiest increase is the Central Air Conditioning upgrade available in the Cold War Period. For $4,000 you can increase job quality by 20 automatically without any further expense.

You can also build parking lots nearby. These will cost you more in the long run since you will be employing the workers at the parking lots, as well. The first two parking lots will increase the nearby job quality by 10 each. You can only increase job quality this way by 20. At this point alone, you could already have job quality up to a 100. 100 is the maximum for the game. Your power plants should be the only job with a 100. That will make sure that none of your employees will ever leave for a better job. Some might become rebels and get killed in an incursion, but that's their fault, right, Presidente?

In case you don't like those options, you can also increase the budget for the building. It will increase your job quality and increase how much power your plants will produce. This option is best saved for last because it can get you out of a power shortage quickly. You can also add a few different managers, such as the Union Leader to increase job quality or effectiveness.

One parting gift, maybe cheating

This one depends on if you like manipulating the game to your advantage and verges on the line of cheating. In the picture at the top, all the power plants are using the natural gas from the oil deposit in the ocean. However, the deposit only dries up when all the oil is used. If you only use the natural gas from the deposit and never take the oil, it will never dry up, but it will continue to produce natural gas indefinitely.


While I do play some of the greats like Civilization and X-com, consider me your Tabletop guru here at gameskinny. Want to know about a tabletop game? Just ask!

Games Tropico 5 Genres SimulationStrategy Platforms PC Tags guide
Published Sep. 4th 2014

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