Energy profile: Cuba

From Global Energy Monitor


This page is part of Global Energy Monitor's Latin America Energy Portal.
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Fuel mix (fossil fuels vs renewables)

Electricity generation by source 2019, Source: Olade

Oil and natural gas provide roughly 80% of Cuba's total energy supply, with biofuels and waste accounting for most of the remaining 20%.[1]

In 2020, 95.1% of electricity generated in Cuba came from non renewable resources and the remaining 4.9% from renewable sources (3% biomass, 0.8% solar, 0.6% hydro, and 0.5% wind).[2] By 2030, Cuba aims to have 24% of electrical generation from renewable sources.[3][4] Cuba's INDC commits to 19 bioelectric power plants fueled with wood and/or sugar cane residue (755MW), 13 wind farms (633 MW), solar photovoltaics (700MW), and 74 small hydroelectric plants for a total of 2,144 MW of renewable energy by 2030.[4][5]

Cuba must speed up their energy transition in order to meet their renewables goal while also generating reliable, affordable electricity.[6][7] Attracting vital foreign direct investment is critical for the Cuban energy transition.

Evolution of CO2 emissions by sector, Source: OLADE

Greenhouse gas emissions targets

Cuba does not have an adequate system in place to measure, report, and verify its greenhouse gas emissions but has listed the establishment of such a system as an objective for aligning itself with the Paris Agreement.[8]

Government energy agencies & other key players

National energy ministry

MINEM (Ministerio de Energía y Minas) is responsible for the energy, mineral and geological sectors of Cuba.

Permitting & regulatory agencies

CITMA (Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Medio Ambiente de la República de Cuba) is responsible for authorizing environmental permits, overseeing environmental policy and research, and ensuring that energy projects are operated in a sustainable manner.[9]

Electric utilities

UNE (Unión Eléctrica) is responsible for the generation, transmission, distribution, and commercialization of electrical energy.[10]

National oil company

CUPET (Unión Cuba-Petróleo) is the state-owned oil firm and Cuba's largest oil company.

Other energy companies

Other companies operating in Cuba's energy sector include Energas, Inter RAO, Zerus, Havana Energy, and Siemens.[4]

Energy sector employment data

As of March 2016, CUPET employed 24,000 Cubans.[11]

Electricity usage

Installed capacity

As of 2020, Cuba's installed generating capacity was 6,661 MW, with fossil fuels accounting for 81.3% of capacity and renewables making up the remaining 18.7%[2]


Rate of electrification, Source: OLADE

In 2020, Cuba produced 19.1 TWh of electricity.[2]


As the tourism sector in Cuba has continued to develop, electrical demand has risen in response to demand for air conditioning and refrigeration.[4] Cuba has had increasing difficulty meeting electricity demands as the Venezuelan crisis has worsened.[4]


In 2016, Cuba consumed 16.16 billion kWh of electricity.[12]

Coal in Cuba

Source: Worldometers

Cuba does not produce or have reserves of coal; following a period of high coal consumption during the early 1990s, modern day Cuba imports tiny amounts of coal per year, and it does not constitute an important part of the energy matrix.[13]

Oil & Natural Gas in Cuba

Domestic Production

Proven reserves of petroleum and gas, Source: OLADE

In 2018, Cuba produced 50,000 barrels per day of crude oil and had 124 million barrels of proven reserves of crude oil.[12] In 2015, Cuba produced 104,100 barrels per day of refined petroleum products.[12] In 2017, Cuba produced 1.189 billion cu m of natural gas and as of January 2018 still had 70.79 billion cu m of proven natural gas reserves.[12]


Source: Worldometers

In 2016, Cuba consumed 175,000 barrels per day of refined petroleum products.[12] In 2017, Cuba consumed 1.189 billion cu m of natural gas.[12]

Imports & source countries

Cuba imported the majority of its oil supply from Venezuela at a subsidized rate, but the oil imports from Venezuela have fallen greatly as the crisis in Venezuela has worsened.[14] Cuba supplements with imports from Russia to meet their oil needs.[15]

Proposed new sources & projects

Cuba anticipates signing new contracts with foreign investors for oil exploration and discovery in coming years. Between 2019 and 2021 Cuba plans to license 24 deepwater blocks in its Gulf of Mexico EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) under a PSA (Production Sharing Agreement) model.[16][17]


Oil arrives in Cuba on oil tankers. Transalba, the main shipping company, is jointly owned by Venezuela and Cuba.[15]

Renewable Energy in Cuba

Solar and wind are the most promising renewable energy ventures in Cuba, but biomass, hydropower, and ocean energy are also being considered.[4] Bagasse (sugar extraction dry pulp residue) is an important source of biomass for renewable energy generation in Cuba but has declined with the sugar industry.[4] Cuba intends to allocate $3.5 billion for developing renewables by 2030.[4]

In August 2021, in response to protests regarding wider economic frustration, the Cuban government loosened restrictions on the import and installation of renewable power equipment to address energy shortages on the island.[18] 225 MW of renewable energy power capacity were operating on the island in August 2021.[18]

© 2020 The World Bank, Source: Global Solar Atlas 2.0, Solar resource data: Solargis.

In December 2021, the Ministry of Energy and Mines instructed the Electrical Department to start on contracts for the operation and installation of solar plants.[19] In early 2022, Cuba began the process of selecting companies to bring 900 MW worth of solar plant projects to fruition on the island.[20][21]

Iron & Steel in Cuba

Between 2020 and 2030, Cuba intends to grow its iron and steel industries through domestic and foreign investment as well as the use of Cuban raw materials.[22] Steel mills in Havana and Las Tunas are slated to be modernized to reach the countrywide goal of 480,000 tons of billets and 460,000 tons of laminates after 2025.[22] Russia has expressed interest in investing in the Cuban iron and steel sector.[22]

Environmental & social impacts of energy in Cuba

As an island nation, Cuba is at a high risk for the impacts of climate change including dry periods, extreme weather, hurricanes, and sea level rise.[4] Environmental activism is on the rise in Cuba but as of 2019 was heavily focused on beach pollution and animal protection.[23] Activists pushing back against more controversial projects may face arbitrary arrests, censorship, persecution, or limitations on the right to freedom of expression on the internet.[24] Afro-Cubans are disproportionately affected socially, environmentally, and economically by a lack of adequate environmental protections by the Cuban government.[24]


  1. "IEA Policies and Measures Database © OECD/IEA". IEA. Retrieved 2021-06-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Panorama Energético de América Latina y el Caribe 2021". OLADE. November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. "Primera Contribución Nacionalmente Determinada (Actualizada) de Cuba 2020-2030" (PDF). República de Cuba. 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Panfil, Whittle, and Silverman-Roati (October 2017). "The Cuban Electric Grid: Lessons and Recommendations for Cuba's Electric Sector" (PDF). Environmental Defense Fund.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. "Contribución Nacionalmente Determinada - Convención Marco de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Cambio Climático" (PDF). República de Cuba. November 19, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. Brizuela, Luis (2022-02-23). "Cuba dobla la apuesta en la expansión de las energías renovables". IPS Agencia de Noticias (in español). Retrieved 2022-05-03.
  7. Brizuela, Luis (2021-09-30). "Crisis eléctrica en Cuba refuerza necesidad de acelerar la transición energética". IPS Agencia de Noticias (in español). Retrieved 2022-05-03.
  8. "Despite socialist scepticism, Cuba shows interest in carbon trading". Climate Home News. September 30, 2020.
  9. "Cuba gives one of the permits needed for oil drilling". UPI. Retrieved 2021-05-25.
  10. "Misión". Ministerio de Energía y Minas. May 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. "CUPET in Numbers". CUPET. March 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 "Cuba - The World Factbook". Retrieved 2021-05-25.
  13. "Cuba Coal Reserves and Consumption Statistics - Worldometer". Retrieved 2021-05-25.
  14. "International - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)". Retrieved 2021-05-25.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Reuters Staff. "Explainer: What is causing Cuba's acute shortage of fuel?". U.S. Retrieved 2021-05-25. {{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  16. "Cuba plans to attract foreign investment to increase oil production, reserves - Xinhua |". Retrieved 2021-05-25.
  17. "Cuba upstream fiscal and regulatory guide - PSA focus". Retrieved 2021-05-25.
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Cuba fostering renewable energy to ease crisis | Argus Media". 2021-08-17. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  19. Zarco, Jorge (December 13, 2021). "Cuba se abre a la fotovoltaica". PV Magazine. Retrieved May 3, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. Gupta, Uma (January 19, 2022). "Cuba lanzará una licitación para construir 900 MW fotovoltaicos en el país". PV Magazine. Retrieved May 3, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. Cabello, Luisa (March 30, 2022). "IRENA apoyará a Cuba para construir 15 MW en parques fotovoltaicos". PV Magazine. Retrieved May 3, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 "Cuba hoping to expand its iron and steel industries". The Caribbean Council. July 3, 2018.
  23. "Environmental Activism Rising in Central Cuba - Havana Times". Havana Times. November 2, 2019.
  24. 24.0 24.1 "Situation of Human Rights in Cuba" (PDF). Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. February 3, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)