CUBAN RENEWABLE ENERGY ENGINEERS PROTECT THOUSANDS OF SOLAR PANELS DURING HURRICANES IRMA AND MARIA!
The Cuba Solar Conference this year will include at least one presentation/workshop on the role of the renewable energy community in Cuba’s remarkable disaster preparedness and response. You may have read about Cuba's meticulous removal and storage of all solar panels prior to the storm. As they were able to re-install these panels immediately after the storm passed, rural Cuban communities had access to electricity again within a few days of the destruction.
Many of us read with dismay of the destruction of Hurricanea Irma and Maria on nearby Caribbean Islands. Some remain uninhabitable and others will suffer from power outage, destroyed roads, lack of potable water and other basic necessities for months to come. In Puerto Rico the death toll continues to rise.
Unlike some of its island neighbors, Cuba’s level of hurricane preparedness and disaster response is a model for the world. Prior to severe storms, all potentially affected communities are evacuated to safer areas; sensitive installations like electric power towers, solar panels, wind generators, etc. are dismantled and stored to be reinstalled once the danger of the storm has passed. Cuba’s distributed electrical system enabled the country to regain almost all electrical power within a week of the destruction of Hurricane Irma.
Cuba’s brigades of emergency workers were on the streets as soon as the storm had passed removing debris, repairing roads and major buildings, distributing necessary food, water and health services.
Meanwhile experts are predicting that parts of Puerto Rico could be without such basic services and necessities for over a year and that some smaller islands will remain uninhabitable for years.