Cuba hopes to generate a quarter of its energy needs from renewable sources

Cuba hopes to generate a quarter of its energy needs from renewable sources over the next decade, an industry official has said.

The government’s Renewable Energy Development Program aims to raise clean energy output from today’s 4 percent to 24 percent by 2030, said Tatiana Amaran, general director of electricity at the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

The plan focuses on solar power, but other alternative sources have also been prioritized, including bioelectric plants linked to the sugar industry, wind farms and hydraulic power facilities, said Amaran.

Cuban authorities are courting foreign investment in this area by offering incentives and tax breaks.

They also implemented new legal norms, which took effect Thursday, to allow businesses and households to sell any surplus energy they generate from solar panels to the state-run Electrical Union.

Cuba now gets 96 percent of its power from fossil fuels, but it has made headway in green energy. Between January and October, it generated 687,000 megawatt hours of electricity from renewable energy sources, such as wind, hydropower, solar, cane and non-cane biomass, saving 178,000 tons of fossil fuel.