Triangular Cooperation between Mexico, Cuba, Germany: Ensuring the sustainable use of green energy
Title: Triangular cooperation project entitled ‘Strengthening institutional capacities for the implementation of Cuba's energy and energy efficiency policy’
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Cuba: Ministerio del Comercio Exterior y la Inversión Extranjera/Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment (MINCEX), Ministerio de Energía y Minas de la República de Cuba/Ministry of Energy and Mines of the Republic of Cuba (MINEM), Ministerio de Industrias de Cuba/Ministry of Industries of Cuba (MINDUS), Grupo de la Industria Electrónica, la Información, la Automatización y las Comunicaciones/Entrepreneurial Group of the Electronic, Information Technology, Automation and Communication Industry (GELECT)
Mexico: Agencia Mexicana de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo/Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID)
Overall term: 2017 to 2019
As part of Cuba's economic and social planning, a transformation process was initiated in the country in 2011 with the goal of transitioning the energy sector towards renewable energy. The aim is to increase the efficiency of the country's power supply system while reducing its dependency on fossil fuels. The balance between energy production and consumption will be improved, while high energy costs will be reduced.
The increasing use of renewable energy is a cornerstone of Cuba's national policy. Renewable energy currently accounts for four per cent of energy production. By 2030, the country aims to meet 24 per cent of its total energy needs from renewable sources.
Cuba does not yet have the requisite knowledge of photovoltaic system technology, solar water heating systems or energy efficiency. Furthermore, it has only a handful of trained personnel who are able to provide support services for solar water heating and photovoltaic systems. The country faces other challenges too, such as ensuring a reliable power and water supply, and keeping the research and teaching facilities up to speed with the latest technological advances. Cuba also lacks official standards and certification programmes, which can be used to test solar heating and photovoltaic systems and to label equipment.
The Cuban Government and a host of institutions in the energy sector possess greater scientific and technological capacities. This helps to improve policy implementation in favour of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The project serves to strengthen scientific and technical capacities in both Cuba and Mexico by initiating an exchange of experiences from the field of photovoltaic solar energy. The project and its partners have also developed a funding programme for solar water heating systems in Cuba. The existing programme is being bolstered. This includes developing a quality assurance infrastructure to ensure that the technology and equipment available in the local market function smoothly. An exchange and transfer platform for capacity development (for people and organisations) in the field of energy sustainability has already been implemented. Topics for discussion include energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, bioclimatic architecture and sustainable construction.
More than 50 representatives from 11 Cuban institutions participated in training and exchange events, with women accounting for over 25 per cent of the participants. Photovoltaic and solar heating technologies were discussed. Mexico’s experiences with the installation of solar heating and photovoltaic systems have been incorporated into the planning of local concepts in Cuba. Two exchange and training events were also held, during which the experiences gained by Mexico and Mexico's National Worker's Housing Fund (INFONAVIT) in the promotion of solar thermal systems for social housing were shared. A letter of intent issued by a Mexican company specialising in concentrated solar power envisages a pilot project that focuses on Cuban industry.