Monday, August 01, 2005

Cuba initiates plan change from incandescent light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs.

Story courtesy of Terra Actualidad - EFE
Translation by yours truly, emphasis mine

The substitution of the incandescent light bulbs with energy saving lamps began to take place in Havana as part of a program put forward by the Cuban authorities to reduce electrical consumption.

400,000 incandescent light bulbs have been replaced since Friday with low consumption bulbs, as part of 'Operation energy saving’ in homes in five Havana municipalities, considered to be the areas with the greatest concentration of that type of illumination, according to weekly ‘Tribuna de La Habana'.

Robert González Vale, specialist of the Ministry of Basic Industry, explained that the objective is to replace 1.2 million incandescent light bulbs with energy saving bulbs in Havana (2.2 million inhabitants).

[1.2 Million bulbs for 2.2 million people?]

When the objective is reached, he indicated, the maximum demand in the Cuban capital will be reduced in 20 megawatts, which will avoid investments in generating units at a cost of $20 million.

[Avoiding investments in energy generation like the plague? What kind of energy policy is this?]

According to the Cuban technician, if the energy saving light bulbs had been installed during June and July, the amount of blackouts that punished Havana during those months for up to twelve hours daily because of a deficit of electrical generation would have been reduced by 20 percent.

["Well if we had our shit together, we really could have made this summer more bearable!"]

Although it is not obligatory, the substitution is highly advantageous, considered the functionary, who affirmed that the energy saving light bulbs, coming from China, are of ‘proven quality.’

[Ugh, another lifeline]

The city of Havana, the province Havana and Pinar de Rio, in the west of the island, have priority in the implementation of the plan, according to the local press.

‘Operation energy saving’ also consists of the substitution of the thermostats and refrigerators that are in a state of disrepair, old electrical fans and the electrical stoves, with others that are more energy efficient.

The Ministry of Foreign trade announced the last week that it had cancelled the importation of lamps and incandescent light bulbs in order 'to contribute to the policy of saving of energy'.

[Because in Cuba, of course, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.]

The Cuban president, Fidel Castro, announced on April 21st, during a public appearance, the decision to eliminate the incandescent light bulbs and to replace them with others of the low consumption variety.

[I wonder if this was another one of his spur of the moment brainstorms and how many of his aides were saying "oh shit, here we go again!"]

Castro said on that occasion that no more incandescent light bulbs would be sold in the network of local commerce and that their imports would be suspended.

In addition, he indicated that the country will import from China 1.5 million energy saving light bulbs and two million fluorescent tubes to replace the incandescent light bulbs free of charge.

Cuba is involved in a campaign of saving of electrical energy that includes the replacement of the power lines that are in disrepair, and the repair and the modernization of the thermo-electrical plants, among other measures.

According to the specialists, this strategy is intended to achieve stability in electrical service and an end to the blackouts in the second half of the next year.

[Promises, Promises. We're still waiting for those free elections.]

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