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Solar Energy in Cuba: Current Situation and Future Development 2019

 

Abstract: Cuba, a small island in the Caribbean Sea with a total land area of 109.884 km2 and a population of around  11.423 million, has no significant proved oil, gas and coal reserves. Also use, in a very limited manner, some of the four  main renewable energy sources available in the country for electricity production, generating just 50,1 GW/h or 4,04% of  the total electricity consumed in 2015 (20.288 GW/h). In 2016, electricity    consumption fell to 15.182 GW/h; this means a  reduction of 25% in comparison to 2015. In 2016, the participation of renewable energy sources in the energy mix of the  country reached 4,65%.
 
 
The different renewable energy sources available in the country are hydropower, wind power, solar photovoltaic, and  bioenergy. In 2015, out of Cuba’s total 566 MW of renewable energy capacity installed, 83% of the total was in the  bioenergy sector. In 2016, the renewable energy capacity installed in the country reached 642 MW.
 
 
According to the decision adopted by the Cuban government, the participation of renewable energy sources in the  energy mix of the country should reach 24% in 2030, an increase of almost 20% compared to the level reported in 2016.  Among the different renewable energy sources available in the country, solar energy is one of the main contributors to  the national energy system, and also one of the leading supplier of energy to independent users all over the country.  
 
Keywords: Energy policy, Renewable energy sources, Solar photovoltaic, Renewable thermal, Hydropower, Solar Journal of Solar Energy Research Updates, 2019, 6, 1-14 1 E-ISSN: 24102199/19 © 2019 Zeal Press
Solar Energy in Cuba: Current Situation and Future Development
Jorge Morales Pedraza  Independent Researcher and Senior Consultant in Morales Project Consulting, Vienna, Austria  
 
 
Abstract: Cuba, a small island in the Caribbean Sea with a total land area of 109.884 km2 and a population of around  11.423 million, has no significant proved oil, gas and coal reserves. Also use, in a very limited manner, some of the four  main renewable energy sources available in the country for electricity production, generating just 50,1 GW/h or 4,04% of  the total electricity consumed in 2015 (20.288 GW/h). In 2016, electricity  consumption fell to 15.182 GW/h; this means a  reduction of 25% in comparison to 2015. In 2016, the participation of renewable energy sources in the energy mix of the  country reached 4,65%.
 
The different renewable energy sources available in the country are hydropower, wind power, solar photovoltaic, and  bioenergy. In 2015, out of Cuba’s total 566 MW of renewable energy capacity installed, 83% of the total was in the  bioenergy sector. In 2016, the renewable energy capacity installed in the country reached 642 MW.
 
According to the decision adopted by the Cuban government, the participation of renewable energy sources in the  energy mix of the country should reach 24% in 2030, an increase of almost 20% compared to the level reported in 2016.
 
Among the different renewable energy sources available in the country, solar energy is one of the main contributors to  the national energy system, and also one of the leading supplier of energy to independent users all over the country.  
 
Keywords: Energy policy, Renewable energy sources, Solar photovoltaic, Renewable thermal, Hydropower, Solar energy, Wind energy, Electricity generation.

 

1. THE CUBAN ENERGY SECTOR
 
According to Morales Pedraza (2018), “it is an  undisputed reality that the energy production,  particularly the electricity generation and their  
sustained growth, constitute an indispensable element  for the economic and social progress of any country.  Without a doubt, energy is the motive force of the  civilization, and decides, in a high degree, the level of  economic and social development that a country could  reach”.
 
 
Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean Sea with a  total land area of 109.884 km2 and a population of  around 11.423 million, according to the OLADE 2018  report, has no significant proved oil, natural gas, and coal 1 reserves (see Tables 1, 2 and 3), and use, in a  very limited manner, some of the four main renewable  energy sources available in the country.
 
 
In 2019, according to sources from the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), Cuba has a total installed  capacity of 5.881 MW and 100% power coverage using  different energy sources. The total   installed
 
 
renewable power generation capacity in Cuba, in 2016, reached 642 MW representing 10% of the full power capacity installed (see Figure 1). By type of renewable energy source, the installed power capacity is the
following:
 
Renewable thermal: 529 MW or 8,2% of the  total:
Hydropower: 66 MW or 1% of the total
Solar energy: 37 MW or 0,6% of the total
Wind energy: 10 MW or 0,25 of the total
(OLADE, 2018).
 
The total electricity generated in 2016 reached 20.334 MWh. The total energy produced in 2016 by  renewable energy sources reached 811 GWh or almost 4% of the total. The electricity generated by the different energy sources in that year was the following:
 
Renewable thermal: 686 GWh or 3,4% of the total:
Hydropower 64 GWh or 0,3% of the total
Solar energy: 39 GWh or 0,2% of the total
Wind energy: 21 GWh or 0,1% of the total.
 
In 2016, out of Cuba’stotal 642 MW of renewable  energy capacity installed, 0,2% of the total was in the  solar energy sector. The government desires that the participation of renewable energy sources in the energy
 
 
 
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Category/ies:Articles, Cuba Articles, Cuba's Energy Transition, Energy Transition, Regional Articles, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy.
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