New regulations tighten use of energy and promote renewables

A new and extensive decree law relating to power generation has been gazetted. It aims to reduce the country’s long-term dependence on imported oil and contains provisions that will tighten the use of energy by state enterprises as well as  encouraging renewables as a major energy source.

Decree-Law 345 and accompanying complimentary regulations establish requirements for Cuba’s now decentralised state business management organisations, provincial and municipal administrations, and all state budgeted entities to exercise greater control over their energy use. It does so by  introducing measures that increase energy management, efficiency, conservation and control, especially in relation to large energy-consuming entities.

The decree law also indicates that Cuba will stimulate investment and research in the renewable energy sector and develop nationally the production of the required equipment, parts and spare parts.

The new law does not apply to non-state commercial companies with 100% Cuban capital or to foreign investments.

In a new departure, the law will also enable Cuban citizens to obtain the equipment necessary to produce electricity for their own consumption. It also enables the Central Bank of Cuba to authorise financial entities to grant credits of up to 100% to creditworthy individuals who wish to buy solar heaters and photovoltaic solar systems in CUP. Sales will be undertaken through identified outlets with iInstallation and assembly carried out by state entities. 

Complimentary regulations oblige Unióon Eléectrica, the state power distributor, to purchase all energy that is delivered to the national grid by independent producers. They indicate that a price will be set in such a manner as to stimulate independent production, the avoidance of fossil fuels, and tariff differentials based on changing levels of demand. The regulations also provides tariff and tax benefits and incentives to legal persons in order to stimulate investments related to renewable technologies.

Cuban reporting indicates that the main objective of the decree law is to increase in the generation of power from renewable energy sources, to progressively replace fossil fuels, diversify the sources of power generation and to increase in energy efficiency and savings. Cuba has previously said that it intends to increase the contribution of renewable energy sources in electricity generation, to no less than 24% of the total in 2030.

Energy related priority programmes will be those relating to the installation of bioelectric plants associated with the sugar industry and the related supply of forest biomass; the assembly of wind farms; hydraulic energy and the maximum use of small hydroelectric plants; the installation of photovoltaic solar panels and solar heaters; and the use of agricultural crop and factory residues and livestock and urban waste to generate power.

A detailed account of the new measures with a link to the decree law can be found in Spanish at http://www.cubadebate.cu/noticias/2019/11/28/cuba-entran-en-vigor-nuevas-normas-juridicas-para-el-desarrollo-de-las-fuentes-renovables-y-el-uso-eficiente-de-la-energia-pdf/#.XeOKuuj7Q2w

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