Sunday, May 31, 2009

Green News from Cuba

Cuba has been quietly leading the way in recent years in significantly reducing its consumption of fossil fuels and its overall energy usage. Planned measures by the government have focused on two main areas - reducing consumption and increasing the use of renewables.
Measures include:
  • replacing, free of charge, the entire nation's supply of incandescent light bulbs (9 million) with compact flourescents over a six month period
  • providing subsidies to allow families to purchase 2 million energy-efficient refrigerators, 1 million fans, 182,000 air conditioners and 260,000 water pumps
  • changing the pricing structure for electricity to allow households using less than 100 kWh per month to benefit from an extremely low tariff (less than 4 cents per kWh). Prices rise dramatically for households using more than this amount.
  • a national education programme through schools, TV and other media to highlight the issues associated with energy reduction and usage
  • making moves to partly decentralise the nation's electrical production with the building of over 1800 micro-electrical plants generating supplies for their local town or district.
  • a major plan of repair and upgrade to the nation's electrical transmission network - posts, poles and cables.
Efforts to reduce consumption have lead to significant reductions in oil consumption, saving over 961,000 tonnes of imported oil between 2006-2007.

On the use of renewables, measures have included:
  • building two wind farms
  • building a 100 kW solar electric plant - the first to be connected to the national grid
  • creating 180 micro-hydro systems
  • the creation of over 8000 off-grid local solar power systems for use in rural areas
  • the construction of 300 biogas plants, converting animal waste to cooking fuel
  • sugarcane biogass (using non-edible residue) is adding about 500 MW to the national grid
  • the formation in 2007 of a National Group tasked with accelerating the implementation of renewable energy sources. The group focuses at present on 14 different renewables and the practicalities of their implementation in Cuba

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.

No comments: