HAVANA, July 3rd The promises made by Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel last week in the Council of Ministers have not been fulfilled and energy continues to be a serious problem, to the point that in Sancti Spíritus there is a total or partial paralysis of industries and services considered not essential in “peak hours. The sections cover six hours a day since it must shut down between 11 am and 1 pm and from 6 pm to 10 pm.
Camilo Pérez Pérez, an official of the Provincial Government, indicated that, in work centers, “working hours must be adjusted to shift them from the hours of greatest consumption and take advantage of distance work and teleworking as an alternative.”
In addition, he requested that the continuous production centers apply the restriction plans provided for these purposes, such as the shutdown of air conditioning systems and ovens, as well as refrigerators, refrigeration equipment and chambers “as long as they do not affect the state of the products,” an observation that could be of doubtful feasibility unless there are empty units.
The official also made reference to the irrigation machines, which should not be used during peak hours, and that the pumping of water to the population must be reorganized to avoid the night hours, which are the most demanded.
All the above measures are aimed at industry and shopping centers, where in addition to monitoring the consumption reading so as not to go beyond what was planned, lighting should be reduced as much as possible. Sancti Spiritus residents must also grope through the streets since it has been requested to disconnect public lighting and leave only those essential for the safety of vehicles and pedestrians.
“The State’s policy is to reduce the impact on the service to the population as much as possible,” said Pérez, who, however, asked the general population to contribute to the complicated moment by saving energy in homes as well.
“It is about disconnecting or turning off equipment that is not in use and having the support of the People’s Councils to implement these and other actions aimed at the rational and efficient use of energy,” he insisted. In addition, he requested that there be a communication policy from the State media that promotes the optimal consumption of resources.
“Although they announce it now, we have been suffering from measures of this type for several days now,” a woman from Sancti Spiritus tells 14ymedio, and reports that despite the fact that it is true that in some state offices they do not take care of saving energy – closing the doors, for example, when the air conditioning is on – these places are also not designed for natural ventilation (in many there are no windows that open).
The woman, familiar with state employment, says that “self-blackouts” are not uncommon: “They themselves disconnect all electrical appliances one day a week.”
State workers were informed at least four days ago, in addition, of the suspension of labor transport.
The state telecommunications monopoly Etecsa announced last Saturday that, as of that date, its commercial network was modifying its hours of service to the public, from 9 am to 4 pm from Monday to Saturday, and specified that, during the hours without power, they could carry out the procedures for bill collection, card sales, attention to procedures, doubts, and complaints.
“We know that blackouts are annoying, but the intention is that we at least have the possibility of preparing ourselves for when this service is affected.
The unexpected outage of some generating plants and the fuel shortage in recent days have caused the current situation with regards to the electricity, and although work is being done uninterruptedly on solving breakdowns, there is no generation reserve that can be said to end these annoying blackouts immediately, so we must keep ourselves informed through the different planning channels of the blocks of affectations existing in the province,” Yoanny Acosta Solenzar, director of the Electric Company in Sancti Spíritus, said on social networks.
A few days ago, the official defended himself against criticism from the population, who complain that the schedules are not kept, and argued that the lack of generation in recent days has exceeded 20 MW and, when this happens, they must “turn off circuits that belong to the other block, that is, shuffle some of those planned a little later for the one that is in a blackout.”.
Last week, the Mesa Redonda (Roundtable) program explained the serious energy situation that, for the umpteenth time, is affecting the country. Officials commented on television that of the 20 blocks of thermoelectric plants in the country, eight are outside the system and the remaining 12 generate 1,023 MW, barely 39% of the total power of these plants (2,608 MW).
“Every two days we have almost three blocks out of service,” said Edier Guzmán Pacheco, director of Generation of the National Electric Union. In addition, and despite the fact that shipments of Venezuelan oil and its derivatives, which are free for the Government, have increased, the shortage is evident.
The problem continues, already in June, and it shows no sign of improving in the face of the rising temperatures of another summer that is approaching too hot.