China and Cuba have signed a cooperation agreement to push forward construction projects in Cuba under China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as reported by Global Times on December 26. The collaboration came after Cuba joined the Belt and Road Energy Partnership (BREP), an alliance aiming to enhance connectivity in infrastructure and clean energy investments, in October. The BREP was officially launched in April 2019 and currently holds 29 member countries, including four Latin American countries: Cuba, Venezuela, Suriname, and Bolivia.
China’s renewable energy infrastructure construction in Cuba could reduce the latter’s reliance on power imports, which contribute 53% of Cuba’s current electricity generation. As of now, over 95% of the power consumption of Cuba is generated from fossil fuels, mostly from eight thermal power plants that have operated for over 30 years. Cuba aims to raise the proportion of renewable energy in its energy mix from less than 5% at present to 24% in 2030. As a result, Cuba joined BREP as it seeks investments and international cooperation for its renewable energy transition. According to the Cuban ambassador in Beijing, Carlos Miguel Pereira, Cuba welcomes companies and institutions in China and other allied members in the BREP to help it develop green energy and get access to energy services.