Japan Donates 20 Million Dollars to Cuba To Install a Photovoltaic Park on Isla de la Juventud

The Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero, and the Japanese ambassador to Cuba, Kenji Hirata, at the inauguration of the facilities / Juventud Rebelde

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 27 April 2024 — The International Cooperation Agency of Japan (Jica) donated more than 20 million dollars to collaborate with Cuba in the assembly of solar photovoltaic parks in the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud, local media reported on Saturday. The installation, inaugurated the day before by Prime Minister Manuel Marrero, includes a system of fast-discharging lithium batteries that “allows to compensate for the fluctuations caused by the instability of photovoltaic generation,” according to the official newspaper Granma.

The project will reduce the use of fossil fuels in generation and improve the supply of electricity in that territory, according to the newspaper. With this, the electricity system in Isla de la Juventud would reach 20% of energy production with renewable sources, said the director of the state-owned Unión Eléctrica, Alfredo López.

The electricity system on the Isla de la Juventud would reach 20% of energy production with renewable sources

Marrero thanked Japan’s ambassador to Cuba, Hirata Kenji, and Jica’s representative, Ashida Tatsuya, for the donation. He also recognized the Cuban and Japanese engineers who work together on the construction site.

The Cuban Government aspires to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, which currently account for 95% of national energy production, and especially on the import of crude oil, due to the cost.

The national “energy transition” plan aims to have 37% of its energy mix come from renewable sources by 2030, although currently it is barely 5% and investments in this area are minimal.

At the beginning of March, the Minister of Energy and Mines, Vicente de la O Levy, announced two contracts with Chinese companies with which it is intended to contribute “gradually” more than 2,000 megawatts (MW) to the National Electricity System (SEN).

These agreements provide for the installation of three parks in each province, 92 in total, with which the Island intends to save 750 tons of imported fuel. The only drawback is the deadlines, between 2025 and 2028 while the population “endures” a deficit of 300 MW this Saturday.

The national energy transition plan aims for 37% of its mix to come from renewable sources by 2030

Also, Spain will also support the construction of a solar park in Cuba within the framework of the Global Gateway strategy of the European Union (EU). This project aims to provide energy for 8,500 households, generate savings of 84 million euros, replace 168,000 tons of fuel and avoid the emission of 721,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The poor state of Cuban thermoelectric plants, together with the lack of crude oil for generation, have meant that since the end of January, the daily rate of maximum energy deficit is between 20% and 45% of the country’s needs. Meanwhile, the Island appeals to an increase in the use of renewable energies as a solution to the energy crisis, but the progress is too slow compared to the needs of the population.

Translated by Regina Anavy


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.