Caribbean News Now reports on the direction Cuba is taking to leave unsustainable energy sources, like oil, behind and look forward to cleaner, renewable energy sources:
The director of the Center for Studies on Renewable Energy Technologies, of the Jose Antonio Echeverria Higher Polytechnic Institute, Tania Carbonel, said that wind turbines do not emit greenhouse effect gases, or toxic waste; they do not need water to generate energy, as happens with thermo-electric plants.
The expert said that, given increasing oil prices and the possibility for the exhaustion of oil reserves in the near future, the exploitation of renewable energy sources becomes a must.
Solar energy, biomass processed from sugar cane waste, and hydro-energy offer Cuba significant possibilities to increase its use of renewable sources, in tune with the country’s energy-saving programs. At present Cuba has four wind farms contributing 11.7 megawatts (MW) to the national electric system, according to the Cuban Basic Industry.
Recent expert studies indicate the possibility of establishing several other wind farms with an output of more than 2,000 MW. Only 3.8 percent of the energy produced in the country comes from the sun, the wind, biomass processing, biogas or hydro-energy.
By the end of 2009, the wind energy installed capacity in Cuba reached 140.951 MW, according to the World Wind Energy Association.
At present, 80 countries have wind farms, according to WWEA figures. These facilities meet 1.5 percent of the world electricity demand and employ half a million workers.