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Solar Energy International Offers Renewable Energy Tour of Cuba

Eco Cuba Exchange and Solar Energy International co-host exciting April 2012 research delegation and conference

Once again, in 2012, Solar Energy International and Global Exchange are offering an amazing opportunity to study renewable energy and energy efficiency policy and programs in Cuba. The research tour, April 19 – 29, 2012, involves policy meetings and installation site visits in Havana City, Pinar del Rio and Santiago de Cuba, as well as the CUBA SOLAR conference in Santiago de Cuba. SEI has developed a very rich and power-packed program in both western and eastern Cuba.

“We need an example of what to do when the effects of Peak Oil really hit internationally. Cuba provides us with that. Cuba has already undergone an energy famine.”

— Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute From the documentary film “The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil”

In 2006, called “The Year of the Energy Revolution” in Cuba, government ministries and NGOs such as the award-winning Cuba Solar developed a nationwide plan focused on energy efficiency and independence.

  • The entire electrical system was upgraded
  • Efficient appliances were distributed among the citizenry, including energy efficient refrigerators!
  • Cadres of young social workers went from house to house in every community teaching energy efficient methods of home maintenance
  • Cuba became the first country in the world to completely phase out incandescent light bulbs.

During 2006 – 2007 Cuba saved close to one million tons of imported oil through these measures, and reduced their CO2 emissions by 5 million tons.

It was exactly ten years earlier, in 1996, that Global Exchange and Solar Energy International joined forces to organize our first research tour to Cuba to learn about their renewable energy plans and projects.

Since that time, the pioneering NGO Cuba Solar has installed thousands of solar panels on rural schools and family doctor clinics, and maximized their use of the regions in Cuba where wind, water, biomass and biogas resources for energy production are available. (Of course in Cuba, solar energy is almost always available everywhere, a situation that inspired Italian renewable energy expert Enrico Turrini to extol “the love affair that exists between Cuba and the sun!”)

In the last 15 years, numerous new renewable energy departments, agencies, NGOs and organizations have been formed in Cuba:

  • CubaEnergia, a department within CITMA, the Cuban Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment
  • PAEME, the Ministry of Education’s Program for Energy Conservation
  • Pedagogical University Enrique Jose Varona, a vocational-technical school with a renewable energy/energy efficient curriculum
  • Volodia Educational Center, Vocational-technical school with a solar energy laboratory and an excellent curriculum in renewable energy and energy efficiency technology
  • Similar schools throughout rural areas of eastern Cuba PV Factory in the province of Pinar del Rio CIES, the solar energy research center in Santiago de Cuba

Program Highlights:

  • City Tour of Havana and Old Havana with focus on projects in sustainable development
  • Site Visits to urban and rural renewable energy installations and energy efficiency projects in 3 provinces
  • Meetings with engineers and policy makers from CUBAENERGIA, CUBA SOLAR and ECOSOL
  • Visit to Cuba’s urban and rural vocational-technical schools for renewable energy training
  • Overnight visit to rural Pinar del Rio province and internationally recognized Biosphere Reserve
  • Visit a PV manufacturing plant in Pinar del Rio
  • Visit to CIES, the enewable energy research center in Santiago de Cuba
  • CUBA SOLAR International Renewable Energy Conference in Santiago de Cuba
  • Visit largest urban farm in Havana, Alamar
  • Small group meetings according to interest Cultural activities

Eco Cuba Exchange, a project of Global Exchange, promotes environmental interchange between U.S. and Cuban environmentalists in the areas of Renewable Energy, Organic Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Natural and Traditional Medicine, and Sustainable Development policy and practice. Contact: or call 510-649-1052.

Solar Energy International (SEI) is a US non-profit organization whose mission is to help others use renewable energy and environmental building technologies through education. SEI teaches individuals from all walks of life how to design, install and maintain renewable energy systems, and how to design and build efficient, sustainable homes. SEI offers trainings online and in 22 locations around the world. Contact: or call 970-963-8855.

Global Exchange Reality Tours, a licensed Cuba Travel Service Provider, has over 20 years experience arranging Cuba travel for professional, educational, cultural, and “people to people” delegations to research every aspect of Cuban life. For information on the travel logistics for the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Cuba delegation, please contact Pam Montanaro, Coordinator of Eco Cuba Exchange at 510-649-1052 or

To register for this research tour:

  1. Click here to fill out the Cuba Registration, Health and Liability, and Travel Affidavit forms on this web page
  2. Scan and email them, along with your CV or resume, to: and to or fax them Attention: Carol, Cuba Reality Tours at 415-255-7498.
  3. If you wish, you may call in your credit card information for your deposit to Pam at 510-649-1052 (a secure line and secure voice mail).
Additional Information

Category/ies:Cuba Events, Cuba News, Events.
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