Energy revolution shows results
Campaign News | Sunday, 25 May 2008
By Orfilio Pelaez
In less than three years, Cuba has saved 961,419 tons of fuel directly resulting from measures adopted in the different programs comprising what is called the Energy Revolution, said Vicente de la O, director of the state-run Union Electrica power company.
Speaking with legislators on the recently seated Energy and Environment Committee, Vicente de la O said that 39 percent of the savings had come from replacing high energy consumption refrigerators for more efficient ones.
The power company official said other factors include the reduction in consumption at the country's thermoelectric plants, the massive use of energy-saving light bulbs and the drop in power loss during transmission.
Thanks to the Energy Revolution initiative Cuba has successfully eliminated blackouts due to generation problems, said Vicente De la O. He noted that in 2005 there were 224 days with blackouts due to problems in generation and that the figure was reduced to zero in 2007, and has remained so during 2008.
The energy company official said that a maximum priority is being given to the rehabilitation of electricity distribution lines, with emphasis on eliminating areas of low voltage. He said that today low voltage has been eliminated in 80 of the country's 169 municipalities and the goal is to reach 136 by July 26.
Enrique Gomez Cabeza, in charge of the Social Workers program, explained that each day new sources of fuel savings are found. He noted the concept put forth by Fidel Castro that our greatest source of energy resources is in savings.
PRODUCING FOOD AND ENERGY
Rosales del Toro outlined his ministry's environmental strategy to the parliamentary Energy and Environment Committee to increase its support in the production of food and in generating electricity.
The minister said that MINAZ is working hard in the reforestation of watersheds planting both fruit trees and other varieties that produce wood products. He noted that parallel to this effort the ministry is working to reduce water consumption at the sugar mills and increase the use of residual waters as fertilizer in irrigation of the cane fields.
Rosales del Toro noted that by 2010 all the sugar enterprises will have designed integral environmental projects gradually applying the concepts of a cleaner production.
Likewise, he said that MINAZ currently has 1.3 million hectares dedicated to food crops and nearly 900,000 hectares for livestock. This year the ministry's farms are expected to sell the state 61 million liters of milk.
Regarding energy generation, estimates indicate that in the near future all the sugar mills and farms will be completely self sufficient.
Rosales del Toro told the legislators that MINAZ has the obligation to convert residuals from the sugar industry into fertilizer, food and energy sources. He noted the decision of the ministry to find solutions to the complex environmental problems in the industry.
The Energy and Environment Committee members also received detailed information on the use and perspectives of renewable energy sources from Manuel Menendez Castellanos, chief of the Council of State's Coordination and Support Group.
From Periodico 26