As rediculous as it sounds, Cuba could very easily overtake the U.S. in its use of alternative forms of energy. Why? Because like China they have a planned economy.
Cuba on the Road to Clean Energy Development
More than a decade ago, solar electricity changed the lives of several mountain communities in Cuba. Now this and other renewable power sources are emerging as the best options available to develop sustainable energy across the island.
“If the world’s clean energy potential exceeds our consumption needs, why do we insist on using the polluting kind?” asked Luis Bérriz, head of the Cuban Society for the Promotion of Renewable Energy Sources and Respect for the Environment (CUBASOLAR), a non- governmental organisation that promotes the use of alternative and environmentally-friendly power sources.
According to his calculations, the amount of solar radiation Cuba receives is equivalent to 50 million tonnes of oil a day.
“If we covered the 1,000-kilometre-long national highway with solar panels we would generate all the power currently used, without using fossil fuels or occupying a single square metre of agricultural land,” Bérriz said to IPS in an interview.
Moreover, “nobody can block the sun; it belongs to all of us,” he added.
Bérriz is a researcher and long-time advocate of renewable power sources who prefers to talk about “reversing” climate change – which he says is caused by “the destructive actions of today’s societies” – instead of “adapting” to it.
In his opinion, adapting to what others destroy sounds more like “conformism”. Industrialised countries are responsible for 75 percent of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which cause global warming. The leading GHG is carbon dioxide (CO2).
For Bérriz, the best course of action is to move from oil to clean energy sources, which exceed power needs. The way to do this is to develop the knowledge, technology and industry necessary to tap into the various renewable energy sources most available in each area, he says.
Key components of this process, Bérriz argues, are the training of scientists, technicians and skilled workers to cover human resource needs, and the creation of an energy and environmental culture that will raise the awareness essential for the development of solar power based on “fairness and solidarity”.
It’s a big article, so go there and read. More tomorrow.