The promotion of renewable energies in Cuba will count with 18 million euros from the European Union (EU) through a program planned for five years, it was highlighted during the week ending today.
At a press conference, EU official Juan Garay stressed that this is the first financing to this Caribbean nation after the entry into force last year of a bilateral cooperation agreement.
According to official estimates, the country needs to raise about 4 billion dollars for the execution of projects in the field of renewable energies, confirmed Cuban official Rossel Guerra, of the Ministry of Energy and Mines.
'The right path for Cuba is the sun, energy independence is national independence,' said Guerra, who heads the Directorate for Renewable Energies of the aforementioned body.
Of the 4 billion dollars, he said, almost half of it is based on bank loans and the intervention of foreign investors in the execution of the works.
Cuba established a commitment to stop emitting 6 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year into the atmosphere, as part of a comprehensive program that includes changing the energy matrix, he recalled.
According to Guerra, among the main investments planned are 25 bioelectric plants, which will take advantage of the bagasse (residue) of sugarcane and forest biomass.
Currently, the country achieves 37 Kilowatt/hour (KW/h) for each ton of cane processed and with the new plants the correlation will surpass 100 KW/h, the expert said.
The sugar harvest, he said, is around six months a year, so the technology in the assembly will ensure the use of forest biomass adjacent to the plants.
Guerra explained that three bioelectric plants are in the execution phase, another eight are the object of negotiations for the creation of joint ventures and the remaining 14 are part of the portfolio of opportunities that will be presented at the next Cuba Sustainable Energy Forum 2018, from January 30 to February 1.
The specialist also highlighted the program for the use of wind energy, with 14 zones under construction, which will provide six percent of the total electricity generation planned for 2030 from renewable sources.
Of the 14 wind enclaves, 10 were awarded to foreign investors and four are in the process of negotiation, said the expert, who also highlighted the purpose of installing more than 200 solar photovoltaic zones and 74 small hydroelectric plants.
By 2030, he summarized, Cuba plans to produce 7,316 gigawatts/hour (GW/h) per year from renewable energy sources, which will represent 24 percent of the country's total generation by that date, estimated at some 30,000 GW/h.