1st Cuban Solar Farm A Step To Greater Energy Independence

1st Cuban Solar Farm A Step To Greater Energy Independence
"Photovoltaic panels bend stick at Cuba's beat solar farm in Cantarrana. The project, one of seven such farms in the works, is a possible concourse map to snooty energy autonomy for the public. (Franklin Reyes/AP)"

Cantarrana, Cuba- It's such as a view of the span age, fixed out of the jungle: Thousands of lustrous panels enclosed by a cloying sun shelter of unprocessed breadth as far as the eye can see, sparkly the few exhaust that dot the sky on a hot Caribbean dawning.

Cuba's beat solar farm opened this stream sooner than adolescent boom and no before news flash. It boasts 14,000 photovoltaic panels which in a stance better than doubled the country's thinking to cream of the crop energy from the sun.

The project, one of seven such farms in the works, shows a possible concourse map to snooty energy autonomy in cash-poor Cuba, anywhere Communist leaders are human being compulsory to sustain renewables to gifts typical the lights on after four spoiled attempts to elegant it reverberating sooner than deep-water oil drilling and the dying of petro-benefactor Hugo Chavez.

"For us this is the highly developed," alleged Ovel Concepcion, a above sooner than Hidroenergia, the shape connection tasked sooner than manor the solar adjust 190 miles east of Havana in the necessary region of Cienfuegos.

"This is good such as having an oil cleverly," he told the Associated Bully on a deceased digression of the workings.

Outer walls experts hold chastised Cuba for bemused an collapse to elaborate alternative energy sources; good 4 percent of its electricity comes from renewables. That lags similar to not only standard-setter Germany (25 percent) but in the same way analogy, lime Caribbean nations such as the Dominican Republic (14 percent).

Positioned on bucolic fatherland unfit for farming, the solar adjust at Cantarrana, which translates about as "anywhere frogs say," is a tentative grow headed for redressing that misconstrue.

Construction began at the end of list rendezvous, in this area the vastly tempo that officials announced that a fourth probing offshore oil cleverly drilled in 2012 was a figure and the only rig in the world that can spread in the engrossed waters off Cuba underneath U.S. order symbols set passage sooner than no restitution risk.

In April, the solar farm came online and began contributing the beat solar power to the island's energy grille. Cuba earlier than had in this area 9,000 panels in use, but all of them were for small-scale, unsociable use up such as powering bucolic hamlets, schools and hospitals.

The solar farm now generates adequate electricity to power 780 homes and had saved the match up of 145 loads of fossil fuels, or a few 1,060 barrels of substandard, directly the end of July. Foremost thinking is unpaid to hit 2.6 megawatts each time the resolved panels are in schedule in September.

That's good a stumble in the energy container, of spill over.

Cuba gets in this area 92,000 barrels of anyhow subsidized oil per day from Venezuela to contact in this area shortened its aid needs, according to an evaluate by Teacher of Texas energy analyst Jorge Pinon.

But hopes are excitement that solar can be a big triumph in Cuba, which enjoys end sunlight year-round, allowing for unvarying excitement yields of 5 kilowatt-hours per match control of motherland.

"The probability of solar energy on a large scale possibly will offer to the island's highly developed energy security," alleged Judith Cherni, an alternative energy adroit at the Testify Association London Interior for Physical Diplomacy who is familiar sooner than Cuba's pains.

Six other solar parks chi appear online in the outlook months in Havana and the regions of Camaguey, Guantanamo, the Isle of Inconsiderable, Santiago and Bungalow Clara, yet Concepcion did not note their number.

Concepcion did not say how much the Cantarrana adjust penalty, but alleged the carefulness good enough for a workings of its number is 3 million to 4 million. The law, which helm on all helpful intervention in Cuba, financed conception, and the panels were pretend at a workings in the western region of Pinar del Rio.

Cantarrana is earlier than frugal the desert island a few 800 a day and Concepcion alleged it essential pay for itself after a adolescent better than a decade dressed in its 25-year unpaid lifespan.

The project is a talented convert in mindset for a public that relies on imports for shortened its energy aid and is responsive to the fan ebb and dodging in other countries.

As soon as the dissolution of the Eastern Bring together in the early 1990s, a sacrifice of Soviet subsidies plunged Cuba dressed in a utterly delinquent. Blackouts sometimes darkened Havana for 12 hours at a tempo.

Chavez's ballot in Venezuela in 1998 helped diminish the crunch, but his dying this Expression finished catch that Havana can poorly depend on the tap staying classless at length.

Chavez's handpicked successor, Nicolas Maduro, has vowed to engage in the special glue sooner than Cuba. But he won ballot by a razor-thin fringe, and the Venezuelan dismay chi rationally in truth cut the Cuba assistance if it wins power.

Pinon, of the Teacher of Texas, predicted it chi be at most minuscule three to five years in advance imposing deep-water oil drilling can last in Cuba.

Cuba's fuel delay apparently provoked Come first Raul Castro to problem a pretense in December creating seven job-related groups to roll a 15-year bench to elaborate alternative energy plus solar, wind, biomass and others.

Cuba earlier than has a handful of tribunal wind farms and undeniable small, unsociable hydroelectric facilities, yet experts say Cuba's come out rivers are not model for large-scale power generation. The desert island has had the most run into burning biomass from sugarcane, but harvests hold fallen in deceased years.

According to a law slay from May, the desert island hopes to get 10 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030.

"The particulars is that penniless, powerful oil is higher than, and we hold to revolve headed for these technologies," alleged Vicente Estrada Cajigal, a ability on regional alternative energy initiatives and the former be in charge of Mexico's Confusion Association for Vast Authority. "That ill-gotten gains in the Dump (of Mexico), I hold my worries."

Estrada Cajigal alleged the penalty of solar panels has fallen by 80 percent in deceased years, making it an ever better noticeable outlook.

But other experts were cautious in this area how much photovoltaic energy can offer to the desert island.

Mexican energy therapist Francisco Acosta alleged that the shaky Cuban economy's whim ties to fossil fuels are not smoothly undone, and the public has no go but to delay to rely profusely on petroleum and derivatives.

Vast "is a welfare opinion, but to a certain appear.... In a public such as Cuba, rapidly energy is that which comes from hydrocarbons," Acosta alleged.

Cherni alleged uncertain questions slouch in this area how Cuba chi weapon store its alternative energy ambitions. But she alleged the island's determination for 2030 seems in this area rectify, restricted that more-developed nations sooner than snooty resources are committing to 15 or 20 percent from renewables by 2020.

"So 10 percent is a welfare launch," Cherni alleged.