Articles / Sc. & Envt. / Science / Cuban Mountain Communities Get Power out of Renewable Sources
Monday, January 16, 2012
Cuban Mountain Communities Get Power out of Renewable Sources
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, Jan 16.- In the Sierra Maestra mountain range, 403 mi above sea level, the communities of Santa Maria del Loreto and El Triunfo receive high-quality, permanent power service by means of the photovoltaic technology.
Thanks to the renewable solar energy source, important economic and social targets have been electrified, resulting in better quality of life for the mountain dwellers, new jobs, improvement in services and greater
possibilities for professional development.
Adis Alvarez, who has lived in Santa Maria del Loreto for 20 years, says there used to be a small oil power plant that functioned until 8 pm, therefore after the sun set people just went to bed.
Adis recalled how many times her daughter would walk up in the middle of the night sick and that she had to lit oil lamps to see after the girl, who then missed school and got bored as she stayed at home to recover.
“Now that the power is on all the time, I can watch the TV late and my daughter can watch the teleclasses taught on TV when she can’t go to school,” Adis said excited.
In Santa Maria del Loreto there was a Diesel power plant that functioned only four hours a day providing an unstable and unsustainable service to meet the demand of two lamps per house average and where there were six
radios, eight TV sets and two refrigerators total.
The setting up in 1997 of the Photovoltaic Central by the Solar Energy Research Center (CIES), to foster social development in the area, was the first medium-scale project of this type ever implemented under the Cuban
The initiative has had great positive impact in the Cuban economy as it has saved it more than 260 tons of oil and other lubricants, in addition to being an environmentally-friendly alternative.
The technology was developed with the purpose of supplying electricity to mountain communities that couldn’t be connected to the National Electric System. It was first implemented in the community of El Mulato, located
in the west coast of Santiago de Cuba.
Dozens of photovoltaic systems have been set up by CIES in the Sierra Maestra where the technology has become the most important source of energy for far-off communities. (ACN)