Business & Economy

Cuba electricity company: No blackouts scheduled for Christmas Day

Havana, Dec 25 (EFE).- Cuba’s state-run power company, Union Electrica (UNE), has no plans to impose any power blackouts due to lack of generating capacity during maximum usage times on Christmas Day.

The heretofore regular blackouts have diminished in recent days – at least in Havana – to create a much better situation than has prevailed to date during 2022, when prolonged power outages were coming virtually every day.

The communist island’s energy crisis has been reflected in blackouts lasting up to 10 hours a day, and much longer in certain parts of the country, a situation that has disgruntled large segments of the population.

The UNE forecast power output of 2,707 megawatts at the afternoon-evening “peak period” on Christmas Day, a period during which maximum demand for electricity ostensibly will be 2,550 MW.

According to UNE, consumers will not be plagued with any power outages or brownouts, although it warned that there will be a “low level of (electricity) reserves at this time” of 157 MW.

The main causes of the blackouts, the government says, are breakdowns and assorted other difficulties at the island’s aging thermoelectric plants, lack of fuel to generate electricity and scheduled maintenance activities.

Seven of Cuba’s eight power plants are 40 years old or more, and the average age of electricity infrastructure is 30 years.

In September, the Cuban government announced its plan to reduce the frequency of the ongoing power blackouts before yearend by making needed repairs and new investments in the country’s electricity grid.

In July, nationwide protests erupted due to power outages, which increased after Hurricane Ian devastated the island in late September.

The blackouts were one of the main reasons for the anti-government protests that broke out on July 11, 2021, the largest outpouring of public anger in decades.



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