Category Archives: Cuba

Cuba Solar Pv

Since Soviet Union demise and US blockade intensification, Cuba has made great efforts to get its energy supply.

Its plans included solar energy, mainly in inaccessible areas where the national electricity system (medical clinics, rural hospitals, social clubs, TV rooms and schools) fails.

In medical clinics 400 W power equipments were installed to provide energy to 1 fridge 12 lamps of 15 W, 1 television and 1 radio to communicate with other clinics and hospitals.

In schools solar equipment was installed to provide lighting systems, TVs and computers.

The government built TV rooms, that were equipped with solar systems, in villages that have no electricity. Each TV room has 1 solar module, 1 TV, 1 video and 30 or 50 seats according to population density. The investment was around U$D 4.500 per TV room.

The first large-scale photovoltaic energy facility has installed more than 14.100 modules domestically manufactured. The plant is located in Cienfuegos province. The park, which was build in 2012, connected 2.6 MW to the national grid.

There are also installed photovoltaic plants connected to the grid in Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba and Santa Clara provinces. The last one can produce electric energy to daily supply about 750 homes at full capacity and can contribute to the national grid with about 962 kW.

The photovoltaic solar park of Pinar del Rio has connected its first MW of the 3 provided, to the national electricity system. This facility, located in the area of Cayo Cana, provide energy to some Wells that supply water to provincial capital and 8,000 people.

Today are already active over 15 photovoltaic plants, in which each MW installed, on average, can produce 1,5 GW/h per year; saving the country annually 430 tons of fuel.

This leap to large-scale plants shows government interest to increase solar energy use and the opportunity to exploit an abundant resource, since the solar radiation average in Cuba is greater than 1,800 kW/h /m2 per year.

In addition, modules are manufactured in a factory located in Pinar del Río province. The local industry has substantial production line technological improvements, which in 2015 reached 60,000 modules focusing on 250 W panels.

Another sign of solar energy interest is the dean Solar Energy Chair, which founded on September 6 2001, at the University of Havana, reaffirms the renewable energy use momentum in Cuba where photovoltaics plays an important role.

Solar business in Latam with Sopelia

Cuba Solar Thermal

The Cuban population spends between 529 and 791 GWh/year (6% of electricity) to heat water.

Considering the housing technical conditions and water service stability, 1 million Cuban families could receive hot water service using solar energy.

The first ad written in Spanish about commercial solar thermal technology, published in a mass medium communication was held in a Cuban newspaper in the 1930s.

The equipments introduced at that time were mainly from US and its high costs made them only available to economically advantaged clases of the country.

In 1978 a polygon was established to evaluate solar heating systems and the Cuban Standard for systems installation was approved in 1987.

In that period, first models adapted to island climatic conditions was developed and Cuban patent for a solar thermal compact system was obtained in 1979.

Between 1982 and 1991 they were built and installed over 13.000 solar thermal water heating systems in kindergartens and other social institutions. Most of these systems are now out of service because maintenance and technological problems.

From 1992 to 2006 about 4.000 flat collectors and compact equipments, several imported, were installed and were performed efforts to manufacture in the country.

In 2007 Chinese vacuum tube equipments were acquired for pilot test performing purpose.

Approximately 85% of the installed capacity corresponds to the tourist hotel sector.

Solar thermal systems for applications such as drying of agricultural and industrial products are also used.

The solar energy research centers carry over 2 decades working on solar drying technologies development models for timber, medicinal plants, grains, seeds and other products that now allow industrial use of these cameras and provides great economic benefit.

Very advanced solar dryers for tobacco drying and curing technologies developing have also succeeded.

The mentioned centers also work in the use of solar energy in controlled climate chambers for vegetables production and high quality seeds, refrigeration and cooling. The research focuses on potatoes, tomatoes and other products production that currently Cuba is forced to import.

Solar business in Cuba and Latam with Sopelia

Solar Cuba

Cuba is one of the last bastions that refuses to adopt the capitalist system.

This implies virtually the absence of private initiative and as a result of this a great deficiency in infrastructure.

The most common is to make a simplistic association of ideas of “limited resources = poor capabilities.”

Nothing further from reality.

As in other areas (like medicine), in the field of solar energy in Cuba are people with experience and good know-how.

On one hand we have the importance that Cuban gives to “have a say” and on the other hand we have the “times” in which things in Cuba move and respect that we must have free of prejudices about political culture.

Cuba needs to take firm steps toward energy independence by implementing a series of initiatives that are a future investment to counter the problems that have to oil stock up and the harm this means for the country’s economy.

In 2012 Cuba had in its energy matrix 4% of renewable energy and the expectations are to meet the 10% clean energy sources by 2020.

The renewable sources use has helped communities to reduce ecosystem pressure and deforestation caused by the massive use of firewood.

In the country currently operate 13 wind farms and 19 bioelectric plants providing 633 and 755 MW, respectively, to the national grid system.

Energy sovereignty is feasible with 1,100 MW wind power potential and high solar radiation received on its territory located in the Tropic of Cancer, reaches 5 kWh/m2 daily radiation (1.825 kW/m2 per year).

The first experiences in solar energy incorporation have been linked to rural electrification projects. Since the late 80s and early 90s, a program was initiated with the goal of bringing electricity to all rural mountainous and inaccessible regions to improve the quality of its inhabitants life.

After thawing relations initiated in December 2014 by Raul Castro and Barack Obama and the reform process initiated by Castro in 2008 (creation of Mariel special development zone and new Foreign Investment Law) the new economic climate favors the renewable energies development with the presence of some 100% foreign companies.

The expected increase in island tourism demand will cause construction activation, especially for hotels, boosting industry participation in the renewable energies development.

Cuba set a target of 700 MW PV to reach 24% renewables by 2030, reduce their energy costs and diversify its current energy mix in which 94% of electricity production is covered by fossil fuels (about 50.000 barrels a day of own production + 75.000 imports).

The Abu Dhabi Development Fund will enable Cuba to diversify its energy matrix and increasing renewable energy, particularly solar and wind.

This fund, which provides financial support to developing countries, will support a project to generate 10 MW of solar energy, which will increase by 50% the current installed capacity.

It also promotes an ongoing project until 2017 to desalinate water incorporating photovoltaics and small wind technology in new plants.

Solar energy business in Latam with Sopelia