Cuba is set to hold its first Energy & Infrastructure Summit in an effort to boost clean and renewable energy sources and cut down on fossil fuels, local media reported on Saturday.
Conrado Moreno, a member of the organizing committee, told state-run Radio Havana Cuba that the Sept. 1-2 event, to be held at Havana’s Melia Cohiba Hotel, is expected to draw green energy experts from 14 countries in the Americas and Europe.
Participants will explore ways to attract foreign investors in the national energy sector, including touting the new business opportunities under Cuba’s new Foreign Investment Law.
The island nation is hoping to expand its renewable energy infrastructure, such as wind farms, solar panels and plants that turn sugarcane into biofuel, said Moreno.
Cuba has long depended on its close ally Venezuela, an oil exporter, to meet its energy needs. But low oil prices have plunged the South American country into an economic crisis, leading the Caribbean island nation to focus more on alternative energy sources.
The United States, which recently restored diplomatic ties with Cuba, will be attending the summit.
The summit is being sponsored by London-based IJ Global, a “project finance and infrastructure journal”; New Energy Events, which serves as a bridge between technology and capital and regional renewable resources; and the infrastructure division of Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, a provider of news and information on the global financial community.
Also organizing the event are Cuba’s Chamber of Commerce and Renewable Energy Technologies Study Center, with the support of the ministries of Foreign Trade and Investment, Tourism, and Agriculture.
Cuba generates about 4 percent of its energy from renewable sources, but aims to increase that figure to 24 percent by 2030.
The island produces half of its oil needs, and imports the rest at substantial cost. That’s why Cuban President Raul Castro is looking to boost local energy production, especially green energy. (Xinhua)