Cuba to reduce reliance on fossil fuels

In Cuba, the government has set a new target for 16.5% of the nation's energy to derive from renewable sources by 2020.

Today, 3.8% of energy is produced from renewables and Cuba is looking to utilise mainly forest biomass and sugarcane, but will also use solar, wind and hydraulic energy.

By-products of Cuba's sugarcane industry will be a major player in helping the nation achieve its goal, and could see biomass-based energy rise by 10% by 2013.

In addition, plans are underway for the construction of a 50MW wind energy park in the east of the country. The government is also looking into the possibility of building a further eight wind parks by 2020 for the generation of 280MW.

A further 100+MW could come from hydraulic sources, with another 10MW coming from solar energy, if the plans to build a number of photovoltaic parks during 2013 come to fruition.

Cuba saved 31,150 tonnes of fuel and over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emission last year as a result of its existing renewable installations, but still gets 95% of its electricity from fossil fuels.

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