The Cuba Sustainable Energy Forum 2018 took place in La Havana on 30 and 31 January 2018 and marked the birth of a new partnership era between Cuba and Europe in sustainable energy.
The event was organized within the framework of the EU-funded project, EU Technical Assistance Facility (EU TAF) for SE4ALL Initiative for Neighbourhood (East and South), Asia (including Central Asia), Latin America, Caribbean and Pacific that is being implemented by the Sofreco led consortium (Consortium Partners: Revelle Group - GNFE – ECN – CEERD – SEVEn). Revelle Group supported the development of the technical content of the conference.
The event was a ground-breaking first event of its kind. With over 150 participants, the conference programme included keynote addresses from the highest level in government and international organisations, such as: The Hon. Alfredo Lopez Valdes (Minister of Energy and Mines- MINEM) of Cuba, Mr. Stefano Manservisi (Director General of DG DEVCO), Ms. Alicia Barcena Ibarra (Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latina America and the Caribbean – ELAC) and Mr. Adnan Z. Amin (General Director of the International Renewable Energy Agency- IRENA).
With high dependency on imported fossil fuels and exposure to gasoline and power shortages, Cuba confirmed its commitment to transforming its national energy system to achieve energy security, independence and efficiency. The ambitious target set by the Cuban Government is to significantly increase its total power generation from renewables from the current 4.5% to 24% by 2030, which will require an over €3 billion EUR in capital investments.
Attracting foreign investment is also a challenge. Project developers face significant barriers to accessing finance for renewable energy projects. The Cuba Sustainable Energy Forum though showed that there is great interest by international industry players to invest and develop the country’s sustainable energy sector. Most of the major international industry associations (SolarPower Europe, Global Solar Council, Global Wind Energy Council, International Hydropower Association, European Biogas Association) were present and confirmed their interest to work with the Cuban Government to help achieve their goal. The B2B sessions proved extremely useful for the private sector and industry players to understand how to engage in the Cuban sustainable energy market.
The Forum provided an opportunity for the Cuban authorities to present foreign investment opportunities and for the EU to share lessons learned and financing instruments available to Cuba.
Most of all, this Forum marks the beginning of a fruitful new area of cooperation in the energy field between the European Union and Cuba. Between European businesses and Cuba ones.
The presentations from the conference will be up on the Forum website shortly. For more information, please also see the website of the Cuba Sustainable Energy Forum 2018.