Author: MNI Media | Date: 21 October 2018
In the wake of Puerto Rico’s legislature’s efforts to privatize its power market, Puerto Ricans have spoken out against a future based on imported gas, according to a new report by Rocky Mountain Institute released on October 10. While Puerto Rico’s inland fossil-fuel power stations fared relatively well against hurricanes Irma and Maria last year (transmission lines didn’t), a future power system heavily dependent on imported gas with all the associated infrastructure and shipping wouldn’t.
Puerto Rico’s Act 120 of June 20, 2018, the “Transformation of the Electrical System of Puerto Rico Act” requires the legislature of Puerto Rico to develop new policy recommendations within 180 days of its passage.
To facilitate this process, Rocky Mountain Institute and the Institute for Competitiveness and Sustainable Economy ran public workshops in July and August 2018 in the Rio Grande and San Juan to elicit the views of a diverse set of Puerto Rican stakeholder on the future their power system. The results were unanimous.
Puerto Ricans want...
A more distributed (i.e. microgrid), technology-driven clean renewable energy pathway that promotes local wealth and maximizes local ownership
A better funded, independent regulator with enforcement powers
Full involvement of cooperatives and municipalities in the transition
To achieve a clean renewable path would entail increasing the current Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 50% by 2035 and 100% by 2050. It will also include mechanisms for funding and ensuring equitable access.
The Institute for Competitiveness and Sustainable Economy and Rocky Mountain Institute will be launching this report to publish the results of these conversations in Public Collaborative for Puerto Rico’s Energy Transformation.
MNI Media spoke with PJ Wilson who is the founder and President of the Solar and Energy Storage Association of Puerto Rico (SESA), the trade association representing companies dedicated to transforming Puerto Rico’s electric sector into a new solar paradigm.
Listen as PJ spoke with MNI about Renewable Energy Transformation in both Puerto Rico and the wide Caribbean.