EFE/14ymedio, Havana, January 6, 2022 — The company Unión Eléctrica de Cuba (UNE) predicted for this Friday that the blackouts will simultaneously affect up to 6.9% of the territory during the busiest time. This is the second consecutive day this week with an estimate of blackouts due to deficit in electricity generation after almost three weeks without cuts, according to the company’s data.
The Island ended last year — and began this one — without “scheduled” cuts in the electricity supply, unlike most of 2022, when blackouts exceeded ten hours a day.
But the Minister of Energy and Mines, Vicente de la O Levy, recently told national television that they foresee interruptions between January and April. The minister clarified that they will be “shorter” and will respond to maintenance in thermoelectric power plants for the summer months, when demand increases.
It is the end of the cycle opened by Miguel Díaz-Canel in May 2021, when he promised the cessation of blackouts on a date that he postponed again and again until December.
The days without blackouts on the Island coincided with the drop in temperatures and energy consumption (households stopped using air conditioners and fans). O Levy himself admitted it on National Television.
With the cold fronts, the demand for energy to power the equipment decreased. On Tuesday, O Levy explained the maintenance program, which will be more intense in February because “it is one of the coldest and most opportune months,” but then added: “Although the results aren’t because of the weather, they’re because of the work of the electricians.”
The Cuban authorities attribute the energy crisis in the country to the breaks and failures of the — obsolete and lacking investment — thermoelectric plants, fuel shortages and scheduled maintenance.
Most of Cuba’s eight land power plants have operated for more than 40 years, when the average age for these plants is 30 years. Power cuts have affected economic activity and the lives of Cubans during 2022, which generated social discontent and protests.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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