Before the blackouts In recent months in Cuba, caused by continuous breakages in thermoelectric plants and fuel shortages, residents of La Timba, Plaza de la Revolución municipality, decided to find some way to produce electricity for their homes. And they hit the pedals, literally.
“The idea came from Professor Eugenio, who is a bug. As soon as the scheduled blackouts began, he installed a stationary bicycle in the patio and began to power his house by pedaling”, he tells OnCuba Iluminada Matienzo, one of the neighbors who participates in the initiative.
“Actually, the idea is not mine, but rather that of the person who invented the dynamo,” explains Eugenio de la Fuente, a Physics teacher at the Secondary School and a member of the association of innovators in Havana. “What I did was create an amplifier that allows more electrical energy to be produced from the kinetic energy generated by pedaling.”
Thanks to his invention, and his and his children’s pedaling, Eugenio managed to turn on some lights and keep his refrigerator running during blackouts. Even, at night, the television. His neighbors, of course, noticed and asked for help.
Thus, in a short time, and after installing a dozen bicycles between his patio and that of a neighbor (many rescued from rust and oblivion) and a network of cables between them and the houses, the entire block began to produce its own current during power cuts, with cycling turns between able-bodied neighbors.
And that was when Eugenio, Iluminada and some others came up with the idea of presenting a project to the Havana authorities. What started as a neighborhood initiative could become a community project next year involving many more La Timba residents.
At the moment, they have a premises delivered by the municipal government and a first batch of exercise bikes financed by a European NGO, in addition to those that the residents themselves have contributed. And meanwhile, Professor Eugenio is working on a new, more powerful amplifier, with the advice of the Ministry of Energy and Mines.
However, the project is not without its obstacles.
“The biggest difficulty is labor,” admits Iluminada. Or feet, in this case. We’ve had trouble convincing people to join the project, because not everyone is willing to spend half an hour pedaling while others ride the current. But we are looking for alternatives.”
A variant is to organize the shifts by CDR “so that each block has an even turn”, although they also value incentives such as offering volunteers “an extra shift to buy chicken and that they do not have to queue when it is their turn, something that we are already doing. negotiating with the provincial government”, explains the woman.
“We are also in negotiations with a couple of private gyms so that they give their classes of spinning in the premises that they gave us, and thus we kill two birds with one stone: we produce electricity and keep the residents in good physical shape”, he adds.
If the project comes to fruition, “the next step is for it to work not only during blackouts, but systematically, and to provide energy to the national electrical system,” says Eugenio, who already dreams that the initiative can be generalized to other neighborhoods in Havana and of all Cuba.
However, when asked about it by OnCubasources from the Ministry of Energy and Mines, and from the Government of Havana, affirmed that they were not aware of the project and warned about the fact that the news would be released precisely on December 28.
If you believed all of the above, know that it is actually an innocent joke and in good faith because today is the Day of the Innocent Saints, a day in which many people in Latin America make their friends and relatives, and as the that also many press media dedicate this day to their readers.
And if someone, from this note fakeis motivated, investigates and presents to the authorities a project inspired by the one referred to here, we wish him the best of luck and we only ask him to give us the scoop so that, then yes, we can seriously publish the news.