By: José Antonio Suárez (a), Pedro Anibal Beatón (a), Ronoldy Faxas Escalona (a), Ofelia Pérez Montero (b).
a Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of the Orient, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
b Integrated Coastal Zone Management Center, University of the Oriente, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
In Cuba, since 1959, the energy, environment and socio-economic development have been given high priority in national development plans.
Fifty years later, the Cuban people have achieved a society with notable advances in literacy and education, health, culture, sports, social security and per capita of the gross domestic product (GDP), which has permitted the attainment of a sustainable development, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report in 2006.
The energy sector has been evolving constantly in the last 50 years, achieving as the main result the distribution of electricity to 97% of the country, the growth of domestic oil production to achieve about 47% of the total consumption, the introduction of the distributed generation of electricity reaching 40% on the generation, rehabilitation of the electric appliances, systematization of the Cuban Electricity Conservation Program (PAEC), the Energy Conservation Program of the Ministry of Education (PAEME) and rapid introduction of renewable energy technologies, with good results in demand side management, energy efficiency and energy education.
Actually, soil degradation, deforestation, pollution, loss of biological diversity and lack of water have been identified as the main environmental problems; several plans and projects have been applied, in order to reduce their impact, following the policy expressed in the National Environmental Strategy.
However, challenges exist for future development in Cuba in coming years, from an economical point of view will be necessary the enhancement of the economic relations with the American and European countries, to solve internal problems such as insufficient productivity, correspondence between the level of activities with the financial, material and human resources, to promote growth in the levels of exports and to achieve the substitution of imported basic food; the energy sector need to achieve growth in the levels of prospection and exploitation of domestic oil, to diversify fossil energy and energetic technologies suppliers, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy; the protection of the environment will demand to develop research about adaptation and mitigation of climate change, conservation and rational use of natural resources, in particular, the lands, water and forests.
© 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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