March 19, 2024

Cuba Tackles Energy Crisis With 2 GW of Solar Power

In a bid to address the energy crisis in the Republic of Cuba, the government has made moves to increase its national grid power by 2 GW with solar power. According to Vicente de la O Levy, the Minister of Energy for Cuba, 92 ground-mounted photovoltaic plants located all over the island will generate the 2 GW of anticipated solar capacity.

Cuba's Present Power Situation

Cuba is plagued by frequent power outages, with many areas going without electricity for almost 14 hours every day, in addition to numerous other problems. The BBC reports that hundreds of people protested against ongoing power outages and food shortages on Sunday in Santiago, the second-largest city in Cuba.

Since power generators are unable to supply enough fuel to power homes and keep food in freezers and refrigerators, tensions have increased dramatically in recent weeks.

Government’s Role in the Project

The government of the Caribbean nation declared its intention to construct solar projects that will contribute 2 GW to the national grid to address the power shortage.

In a recent press conference, the energy minister announced that by 2028, the government plans to add 2 GW of installed capacity through the construction of 92 solar projects.

According to the minister, the first facility's foundation is currently being built at the designated sites, and resources for its completion and assembly are assured "once they arrive in the nation."

Without going into detail about the initiatives that have been launched, the minister stated that he hoped the nation would bounce back from its failure to achieve a 24% penetration rate of these technologies by 2030.

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Opportunities for Solar Power Investors

The government previously announced last year that solar power developers were invited to participate in the selection process for a 60 MW solar photovoltaic project, under the International Solar Alliance Programme. This statement is a follow-up to that announcement.

Solar panels, wind turbines, hydro turbines, poles, and boilers for use in small bioelectric plants are among the products of Cuba's emerging domestic RES industry. Cuba should be able to incorporate homegrown goods into RES projects thanks to this technique, which will lower import prices and boost the country's economy.

The promotion of foreign investment in renewable energy is a high priority, and the Cuban government has lately relaxed regulations to facilitate this inflow. Wind and solar farms can now be held 100% by foreign investors. 

Additionally, foreign corporations that control 100% of sustainable energy projects are immune from profit taxes for eight years, after which they must pay a lower profit tax rate of 20%.

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