Policy Guide

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Energy Revolution

For the Cuban government energy efficiency is the main strategy to decrease energy import dependence and to reduce the number of blackouts, both of which affect the country’s socio-economic development negatively. One of its main energy saving instruments has been the exchange of old, energy-inefficient appliances and building equipment with energy-efficient ones as a part of the “Revolución Energética”. Some pieces of equipment such as light bulbs and fans were exchanged and distributed for free, while energy-efficient refrigerators had to be financed by households. For low-income households, soft loans were offered.
According to Seifried (2013), among other things, 9.5 million energy-efficient light bulbs, one million energy-efficient fans and 2.5 million energy-efficient refrigerators were distributed, resulting in annual energy savings of 1,564,263 MWh/yr, or of 20,602,005 MWh if the individual life span of the three product groups is taken into account. Based on these data, the benefit-cost ratio is calculated to be around 10.5 with cost savings of EUR 4,120 million during the life span. For these product categories, the market penetration reached close to 100%.
Note that there is a lack of data and some results are drawn from Cuban institutions (like Unión Electrica) and their accuracy was not verified.


  • Tholen, Lena (Lead author)
  • Adisorn, Thomas (Author)
  • Thomas, Stefan (Reviewer)
  • Hennicke, Peter (Reviewer)

References and further reading

  • Arrastía Avila, Mario Alberto; Guevara-Stone, Laurie (2009): Teaching Cuba’s Energy Revolution. In: Solar Today January/February 2009 www.bigee.net/s/bmd22a
  • Bank Note Museum (2014): Cuba - 10 pesos. www.bigee.net/s/zpcesw
  • Belt, Juan A. B. (2007): The Electric Power Sector in Cuba: Potential Ways to Increase Efficiency and Sustainability (Draft) www.bigee.net/s/3sza3g 
  • Boeing, Niels (2009): Es grünt so grün, wenn Kubas Lampen glüh’n. In: Technical Review. www.bigee.net/s/7ftawq 
  • Cerderlöf, Gustav (2009): Cuba’s Second Revolution. Energy Efficiency and Social Transformation as Effects of Deventralisation and the Idea of Development in the Energy System of Pinar del Río. 
  • Guevara-Stone, Laurie (2009): La Revolucion Energetica: Cuba’s Energy Revolution. In Renewable Energy World www.bigee.net/s/fikhvg
  • New York Times (2007): In Cuba, a Politically Incorrect Love of the Frigidaire. By Simon Romero, published September 2, 2007 www.bigee.net/s/27cvzm 
  • Pérez, David; López, I.; Berdelland, I. (2005): Evaluation of energy policy in Cuba using ISED. In Natural Resources Forum 29 (2005) 298-307 www.bigee.net/s/7reeje
  • The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) (2010): Policy DB Details Cuba (2010). www.bigee.net/s/mjvbh4
  • United Nations (2010): Energy efficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean: situation and outlook. www.bigee.net/s/kxrzms

Further information

  • Halsey, Adam (2011): La Revolucion Energetica. www.bigee.net/s/5em6y6
  • Benjamin-Alvarado, Jonathan (Editor) (2010): Cuba’s Energy Future. Strategic Approaches to Cooperation
  • Cuba Electric Industry (2006): Current Situation and Perspectives. Presentation www.bigee.net/s/3jqafw


  • Location:

  • Types of policy:
    • Financial Incentives for ULEB and deep retrofits
    • Provision of information
    • Financial incentives

  • Implementation period:
    2006 to 2008

  • Title in original language:
    Revolución Energética

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