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.