Cuban Innovator Makes use of Daylight to Create a Mannequin Sustainable Area — International Points

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Félix Morffi, an 84-year-old retiree, exhibits a self-made photo voltaic heater and photo voltaic panels put in on the roof of his home within the municipality of Regla in Havana. His hope is that his home will quickly grow to be an experimental web site for the usage of renewable energies and that college students will be taught in regards to the topic in situ. CREDIT: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS
  • by Luis Brizuela (havana)
  • Inter Press Service

With two tanks, glass, aluminum sheets, in addition to cinderblocks, sand and cement, the 84-year-old retiree created, in 2006, a photo voltaic heater that meets his family wants, which he proudly shows.

“You construct it in the present day and tomorrow you have got sizzling water; anybody can do it, and if they’ve a bit of recommendation, all the higher,” mentioned the retired mid-level machine and power restore technician.

A magnet magnetically treats the water via a system that purifies it and makes it safe to eat, with out extra vitality prices.

Additionally on the roof of the home, a cluster of 16 photovoltaic panels imported in 2019 present 5 kilowatts of energy (kWp) and help the work of his small automotive restore store the place he works on autos for state-owned corporations and personal people.

That is an impartial enterprise carried out by Morffi on a part of his land in Regla, one of many 15 municipalities that make up Havana.

Along with overlaying his household’s family wants, he gives his surplus electrical energy to the nationwide grid, the Nationwide Electrical Energy System (SEN).

As a part of a contract with the Unión Eléctrica de Cuba beneath the Ministry of Power and Mines, for the excess vitality “we obtain a median of greater than 2,000 pesos a month (about 83 {dollars} on the official price), roughly the quantity we pay for our consumption throughout the identical interval,” Morffi advised IPS in an interview at his dwelling.

However he mentioned that the speed of 12.5 cents per kilowatt of vitality delivered to the SEN maybe must be elevated if the federal government desires extra folks to supply photo voltaic vitality.

Since 2014, Cuba has had a Coverage for the Improvement of Renewable Power Sources and their Environment friendly Use, and in 2019, Decree Legislation 345 established laws to extend the share of renewables in electrical energy technology and steadily lower the proportion represented by fossil fuels.

Different laws have been added, such because the one which exempts international corporations that perform sustainable electrical energy technology tasks from paying taxes on income for eight years.

Different selections search to encourage self-sufficiency by way of decentralized technology with the sale of surplus vitality to the SEN, in addition to tariff exemptions to import photovoltaic methods, their components and parts for non-commercial functions.

Nice photo voltaic potential

In keeping with research, Cuba receives a median photo voltaic radiation of greater than 5 kilowatts per sq. meter per day, thought-about to be a excessive degree. There’s huge potential on this archipelago of greater than 110,800 sq. kilometers which has an annual common of 330 sunny days.

By the top of 2021, some 500 million {dollars} have been invested in increasing the share within the vitality mixture of photo voltaic, wind, biomass and hydroelectric sources, in accordance with information from the Ministry of Power and Mines.

The photo voltaic vitality program seems to be probably the most superior and with the perfect alternatives for development.

The photo voltaic parks working within the nation contribute 238 megawatts, greater than 75 % of the renewable vitality produced regionally.

As well as, greater than 160,000 of the nation’s 3.9 million houses, principally in distant mountainous areas, obtain electrical energy from photo voltaic modules, statistics present.

However clear sources account for barely 5 % of the island’s electrical energy technology, an outlook that the authorities wish to radically rework, setting an formidable aim of 37 % by 2030.

It’s a matter of nationwide safety to considerably modify the vitality combine in Cuba, which is very depending on fossil gas imports and hit by cyclical vitality shortages.

The island is within the grip of an vitality disaster with blackouts of as much as 12 hours or extra in some areas, because of the deterioration of the community of 20 thermoelectric technology blocks with a median working lifetime of 30 years and in want of frequent repairs.

Added to that is the rise within the worldwide costs of diesel and gas oil, in addition to the scarcity of components to maintain the engines and mills powered by these fuels operational in Cuba’s 168 municipalities.

Placing on the brakes

Authorities authorities level to the U.S. embargo as an element holding again the expansion of renewable energies, blaming it for discouraging potential traders and hindering the acquisition of recent parts and applied sciences.

Alternatively, inflation, the partial dollarization of the economic system and the acute scarcity of primary requirements, together with meals, go away most households with out many choices for turning to the autonomous manufacturing of fresh vitality, even when they acknowledge its optimistic environmental impression.

One of many licensed state-owned corporations markets and assembles 1.0 kWp photo voltaic panel methods for the equal of about 2,300 {dollars} in a rustic the place the common month-to-month wage is estimated at 160 {dollars}, though it’s doable to use for a financial institution mortgage for his or her set up.

Individuals who spoke to IPS additionally talked about the difficulties in storing up photo voltaic vitality to be used at evening, throughout blackouts or on cloudy or wet days, contemplating the very excessive worth of batteries.

Morffi mentioned extra coaching is required amongst personnel concerned in a number of processes, and he cited delays of greater than a 12 months between the signing of the contract with Unión Eléctrica and the start of fee for the vitality surpluses contributed to the SEN, in addition to “inconsistency with respect to the meeting” of the tools.

Though there’s a nationwide coverage on renewable vitality sources, “there may be nonetheless loads of ignorance and little or no need to do issues, and do them properly. Consciousness-raising is required,” he argued.

Combining renewable energies

Morffi believes that regardless of the financial situations, with a bit ingenuity folks can make the most of the pure parts, as a result of “the solar shines for everybody; the air is there and prices you nothing, however your wealth is in your mind.”

He exhibits a dryer that makes use of the warmth of the solar to dehydrate fruits, spices and tubers, which he assembled principally with recycled merchandise comparable to items of wooden, nylon, acrylic and aluminum sheets.

Different tools would require a big funding, such because the three small wind generators of 0.5 kWp every that he plans to import and a brand new batch of 4.0 kWp photovoltaic photo voltaic panels, for which he must apply for a financial institution mortgage.

In the back of his home, a small photo voltaic panel retains the water flowing from a properly for his barnyard fowl and a synthetic pond holding a wide range of decorative fish in addition to tilapia for the household to eat.

The development of a small biodigester, about 4 cubic meters in dimension, can be at a complicated stage on his land, aimed toward utilizing methane fuel from the decomposition of animal manure, for cooking.

In keeping with Morffi, who manages these actions with the help of a number of relations, his house is on its approach to changing into an experimental web site for the usage of renewable energies.

A specialised classroom could also be constructed there, in order that college students can be taught in regards to the topic in situ.

Thus far within the design section and in discussions with potential supporters, this native growth venture might even set up “photo voltaic heaters in locations locally such because the physician’s workplace, a day middle and a cafeteria for the aged,” mentioned Morffi.

He mentioned the concept ought to obtain help from worldwide donors, the federal government of the municipality of Regla, and Cubasolar, a non-governmental affiliation devoted to the promotion of renewable sources and respect for the setting, of which Morffi has been a member since 2004.

“We’re prepared to advise anybody who desires to put in photo voltaic panels, heaters or dryers, the whole lot associated to renewable energies. We’ve got information and expertise and have one thing to contribute,” he mentioned.

© Inter Press Service (2022) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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