The 2016 EEMCC competition, held on November 1st at the Fuqua School of Business in the campus of Duke University, was very emotional. It was easy to dream about sustainable energy development in Cuba seeing this group of bright, beautiful young people, from so many corners of the world, with the professionalism, commitment, creativity and passion that characterizes the commitment of the new generations with the future.
The competition was tough, however, due to the level of the jury and of the proposals. There were initiatives of submarine turbines, taking advantage of the Gulf current in the strait between Cuba and Florida; that proposed submarine cables to compensate for Cuba's electricity grid, as well as supplying energy back to Florida at dusk and receiving it at dawn making use of geographic advantages between the north-south oriented peninsula and east-west orientation of the Island. There were those who spoke about floating natural gas combined cycle units, the use of the sugar industry and the distributed generation system, sun, wind and agricultural waste streams.
All the groups presented viable strategies with their economic feasibility studies, including proposals for measures that could be taken to motivate investors and of different investment instruments. Strategies that could be used by Cuba and businessmen from all over the world, to bring the necessary resources to the country. In general, the competition indicated that Cuba could aim to increase its renewables' by more than 40% under current conditions and, at the same time, reduce the cost of producing its energy up to 0.14 USD/kWh, all this would reduce the dependencies on external energy resources.
The spirit of the competition was magnetic, these young people were marveled at the possibility of contributing their ingenuity, with the best ideas of the US approaching the best of Cuba; of being protagonists in a moment of history. In the end, the John Hopkins University team was the winner, followed by Washington University from St. Louis, and finally Carnegie Mellon University.
Jim E. Rogers, Tim Profeta, Sudha Gollapudi, Rotimi Thomas, Ramesh Akella, Scarlett Harrod, Andy Bindea, Michael Panfil, Daniel Jaouiche, Joseph "Buzz"
Miller, Carlos Fernandez-Aballi Altamirano, PhD (further
Paul Lee, Chris Dougher, Andrew Seelaus, Rachel Breaux, Judy Merzbach, Araz Javadov, Diana Mobley,
Aditya Singh, Angela Tenney, Jenna Ziesenhene... Thank you!