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Powering the Pearl: A Study of Cuba’s Energy Autonomy

[+] Author Affiliations
Elizabeth K. Worsham

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Genesis d. Vargas Esposito

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL

Paper No. POWER2018-7198, pp. V002T12A004; 7 pages
  • ASME 2018 Power Conference collocated with the ASME 2018 12th International Conference on Energy Sustainability and the ASME 2018 Nuclear Forum
  • Volume 2: Heat Exchanger Technologies; Plant Performance; Thermal Hydraulics and Computational Fluid Dynamics; Water Management for Power Systems; Student Competition
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, June 24–28, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division, Advanced Energy Systems Division, Solar Energy Division, Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5140-1
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


Cuba’s national pride comes from their projected autonomy as a communist country, although they have been dependent on other countries to supply them with resources since the revolution. However, Cuba has a high capacity for various forms of renewable energy. This study analyzes the impacts of Cuba’s decline in petroleum use and the rise of renewable energy. There is a lack of primary research on Cuba’s energy infrastructure because of government censorship and availability of reliable data, so this study utilizes accounts from Cuban citizens as well as first-hand observations of the country. Research was conducted through interviews, observations, and written accounts of life in Cuba. The decline of Cuba’s use of petroleum has led to an emphasis on sustainability, affecting people’s lifestyles and the economy. The inability to produce enough electricity has created an inequality between those who are involved in tourist industries and those who are not. However, the dawn of renewable energy is helping to close that gap while protecting Cuba’s energy independence and preventing another Special Period.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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