HAVANA – Obtaining fuel has always been a major challenge for Cuba, which is now promoting energy efficiency by replacing millions of incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, selling induction stoves and building bioelectric power plants, state media reported on Wednesday.
Over the next few years, the government plans to replace some 13 million conventional lightbulbs with LEDs in the residential sector and street lighting, Energy Minister Alfredo Lopez said during preparations for the upcoming National Assembly session.
The plan calls for replacing 2 million conventional electric stoves with magnetic induction stoves similar to those already installed in nearly 540,000 households across the island, Lopez said.
The government plans to install 10,000 sq. meters (107,500 sq. feet) of solar heating panels to save, on average, 12 percent of the electricity used in houses and connect 20,000 photovoltaic solar modules, of which 5,550 have already been installed, the energy minister said.
Another government-sponsored project seeks to use solar energy to pump water at farms, with the goal of having more than 24 percent of the island’s energy generated by renewable sources by 2030.
The plan projects that renewable energy sources will add 2,334 MW to the grid, with 872 MW coming from 25 bioelectric plants, 700 MW from photovoltaic solar arrays, 656 MW from wind farms and the remaining 106 MW supplied by 75 small hydroelectric plants and 531 biogas facilities.
These projects will help reduce Cuba’s dependence on subsidized oil from Venezuela, whose shipments have dwindled in recent years due to the economic crisis and drop in international oil prices.
Currently, the island receives about 55,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude, compared to the more than 100,000 bpd that arrived during the heyday of the 2003 bilateral cooperation agreement.