Cuban NGOs Push for More Renewable Energy Resources

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    In Havana, the Cuban United Nations Association (ACNU) and the NGO Cubasolar have established a working group on renewable energy promotion for the island, where the development of such technologies is state policy.

    In the coming months the group will sponsor conferences on issues such as environment, climate change and sustainable energy, with the aim of expanding education and dissemination of these topics.

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    Cuba currently produces about 4 percent of its electricity out of renewable sources and more than 90 percent is obtained from the sugar industry, said the vice president of Cubasolar, Julio Torres.

    Hydropower, wind and PV, in that order, complete the picture of the main renewable energy sources in the country, the second source is more “dynamic” right now.

    Torres thinks that photovoltaics is also taking off  on the island, where in 2013 two major solar power plants were introduced in the center of the country, with more than 19,300 panels all together.

    The impetus to this type of technology is part of the energy and economic policy of the government of Raul Castro, which gets 96 percent of its electricity from fossil fuels and has a strong energy dependence on Venezuelan oil.

    The local fuel only covers 50 percent of the country’s consumption and the government has promoted the search for oil in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but so far all it’s been is unsuccessful drilling.

    Working with renewable energy and its development is also a priority of the new Foreign Investment Law approved by the Cuban Parliament in March and that should govern from June to attract foreign capital to the country.

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