Cuba Invests in Solar, While Still Betting on Oil
August 16, 2013
HAVANA TIMES — Cuba launched its second photovoltaic solar power park to
reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, with the recent failures in oil
exploration, reported dpa news.
The photovoltaic park has more than 5,000 solar panels and Cuban
specialists believe they have the ability to supply the daily
electricity consumption of about 750 homes.
The new power plant is in addition to another opened in April this year,
with about 14,000 solar panels. They are part of a network of seven
solar farms will be opened gradually in the coming months in different
parts of the country.
The primary energy source used in Cuba is oil, but the island is able to
produce only half the crude it needs daily, while the rest is purchased
from Venezuela through payment facilities and soft loans.
Within the new economic policies of the government of Raul Castro an
important goal is to reduce imports, so it is prioritizing renewable
energy production in a country with favorable natural conditions.
Cuba currently produces four percent of its electricity from renewable
sources. Besides solar energy these include, hydropower, biomass, and
One of the greatest hopes of the Cuban executive to carry out a
successful reform package is to obtain income from oil drilling in the
country’s Special Economic Zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
Companies from Russia, Norway, Angola, Vietnam, Spain, India, Malaysia
and Venezuela signed contracts for oil exploration blocks in Cuba’s
Exclusive Economic Zone. To date several exploration attempts have
The Cuban government estimates a drilling process about five years and
forecast a decade producing over half a million barrels of oil per day,
which would be sufficient for self-sufficiency and export.
According to a study by the US Geological Survey, the potential of the
basin north of Cuba is 4,600 million barrels of oil and 9.8 trillion
cubic feet of natural gas, although the Caribbean nation has higher
The Spanish company Repsol and the Russian Zarubezhneft failed in the
first attempts at deep-water off shore drilling. Sources at the island’s
oil company, CubaPetroleo, noted geological complications.
Despite the failure in the initial drillings, the Cuban president
recently told the nation’s parliament that the search for oil in the
Gulf of Mexico will continue.
“We will insist on further drilling for oil in the Gulf. I don’t believe
that nature is so unjust and cruel that of the three countries bordering
the Gulf, it would give the Americans and Mexicans oil, leaving Cuba
aside,” he said in the National Assembly in July.
Source: “Cuba Invests in Solar, While Still Betting on Black Gold” –