Cuba recently announced plans to install more than two gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030. According to Rosell Guerra, director for renewable energy of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the additional capacity will result in renewables comprising approximately one-quarter of Cuba’s total installed capacity. The new generation mix will include:
- 13 wind farms, with a total output of 633 MW;
- the installation of 700 MW of solar photovoltaics;
- 19 biomass power stations, fueled by sugar-cane residue, with a generating capacity of 755 MW; and
- 74 small hydroelectric plants, with an output of 56 MW.
In order to achieve its renewable energy goals, Cuba will need capital investments of approximately US$3.5 billion, as well as access to technology and equipment. The Cuban government passed a foreign investment law in early 2014 and entities in several countries have already been active in the market, including the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, which recently offered US$15 million in loans for the construction of four 10 MW solar power plants. Participation by U.S. firms is still subject to the embargo and would require a special license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control. However, with the gradual, though unpredictable, lifting of restrictions, the Cuban market presents opportunities for both U.S. equipment manufacturers and investors.