A third of Cuba continues to suffer blackouts

HAVANA.- The National Electrical Union (UNE) warned about the continuation of blackouts in various regions of Cuba, affecting approximately a third of the country. This situation is attributed to fuel shortages, as well as failures in some units of thermoelectric plants.

According to review Cuban Diary, the UNE maintains that the lack of fuel left 86 distributed generation plants out of service, including the Moa Fuel engines and the Santiago de Cuba plant. In addition, 13 plants are reported to have low coverage, which aggravates the situation.

For peak consumption hours, a maximum demand of 2,800 megawatts (MW) is expected, exceeding the available electricity generation capacity, which stands at 1,997 MW. This results in a deficit of 803 MW and an impact on the circuits that will be disconnected, reaching 873 MW.

Some Cubans expressed their bewilderment at the persistence of the crisis even at a time of year when the use of high-consumption electrical equipment, such as air conditioners, decreases due to low temperatures.

Energy deficit in Cuba

Since the end of February 2023, there has been an increase in the energy deficit in Cuba, after failures in the national grid left more than half of the country without service. Authorities attributed these failures to various factors, such as brush fires and overloads in the electrical grid.

Mass blackouts, which can last for days, are a constant reality on the island, which has generated social protests against the designated ruler Miguel Díaz-Canel and the difficult conditions faced by Cubans.

Expert Jorge Piñón, a researcher at the University of Texas Energy Institute and recognized on the subject, highlighted the need for a complete recapitalization of the value chain of the national electrical system. Piñón emphasizes that short-term solutions will not solve the problem and points out the lack of financial resources and time as the main obstacles for Cuba.

According to data from the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI), between 2018 and 2022 electricity generation in Cuba decreased by almost 25%, a figure that contrasts with the regime’s claims about a supposed economic recovery.

Despite efforts to alleviate the energy crisis, such as renting generation plants to Turkey, of which six remain on the island, problems persist. These issues caused a severe blackout crisis during the second half of 2022 and triggered social protests across the country.

FOUNTAIN: With information from Diario de Cuba