The Electrical Union estimates blackouts in about 32% of Cuba this Friday

Amid blackouts and scarce food, Cuba protests rattle 'cradle' of the Revolution

HAVANA, February 16  The state company Unión Eléctrica (UNE) estimates simultaneous blackouts in about 32% of Cuba on the evening of this Friday when demand increases.The high rates of impact on the electricity supply reflect the complicated situation in the country that has been affected for several weeks with rates between 20 and 45%.

According to the UNE, the main causes are the “unavailability” of fuel and breakdowns in several terrestrial thermoelectric plants.

The company, dependent on the Ministry of Energy and Mines, calculates for the peak consumption time this Friday, in the evening, an electrical generation capacity of 2,045 MW megawatts (MW) and a maximum demand of 2,900 MW.

The deficit – the difference between supply and demand – will be 855 MW and the impact – the circuits that will be disconnected – will reach 925 MW during ‘peak hours’.

The Cuban electrical system is in a precarious situation, evident in the frequent failures and breakages of its obsolete land plants, due to the chronic lack of investments and maintenance.

The lack of foreign currency from the State has also hindered fuel imports, which also affects national energy production.

In the last five years, the Cuban Government has rented up to seven floating power plants to the Turkish company Karpowership to alleviate the lack of generation capacity, a quick but temporary, polluting and expensive solution.

Frequent power cuts damage the economy and fuel discontent in a society already seriously affected by the economic crisis for three years.

Blackouts have been one of the triggers for anti-government protests in recent years, including those on July 11, 2021, the largest in decades.