March 1, 2018 (IEEFA) — The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis published a report today describing how Puerto Rico can get 40 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2028.
The report, published with the Puerto Rico Institute of Competitiveness and Sustainable Economy (ICSE-PR), sees the U.S. commonwealth relying on renewables for 50 percent on its electricity demand by 2035 and 100 percent by 2050.
The report—“Toward Electric System Sustainability in Puerto Rico”—emphasizes the importance of proper political oversight over the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, which has been plagued for years by difficulties and which stumbled badly in the aftermath last year of Hurricane Maria.
A modernization program in the long-term interest of Puerto Rican households, businesses. and the economy as a whole.
“The transformation of the Puerto Rico energy system requires not only physical changes to generation, transmission and distribution but strong regulation to ensure successful implementation,” said Tomás J. Torres, executive director of ICSE-PR. “A strong, independent regulator is needed to implement a comprehensive planning process and provide certainty to consumers and investors as the energy system is modernized.”
Torres authored the report with Cathy Kunkel, an IEEFA energy analyst who has closely followed the electricity crisis in Puerto Rico, where electricity still has not been restored in some parts of the island almost six months after Hurricane Maria.
“This paper prioritizes the growth of renewables and distributed energy in a grid rebuild across Puerto Rico that would be complemented by highly-efficient generation,” Kunkel said. “Our research emphasizes the importance of having strong regulatory guidance from the Puerto Rico Energy Commission.”
Kunkel noted that the administration of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has waged a campaign to eviscerate the commission in favor of politically driven policies that lack transparency and protect a status-quo dependence on fossil-fuel imports.
“Governor Rosselló seems intent on establishing a regulatory system committed to approving certain ill-defined privatization transactions,” Kunkel said. “Such a move would simply codify deals that may not meet professional standards and would only perpetuate a political culture that has hobbled the island for too long.”
The report outlines a viable electricity modernization program for Puerto Rico that would be in the long-term interest of Puerto Rican households, businesses, and the economy as a whole.
The paper outlines how Puerto Rico can tap renewables for 40 percent of its electricity requirements by 2028 by taking certain policy steps that include:
Media contact: Karl Cates 917-439-8225 [email protected]
Pepo Garcia, 787-220-4648, [email protected]
ABOUT IEEFA: The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) conducts research and analyses on financial and economic issues related to energy and the environment. The Institute’s mission is to accelerate the transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy.
ABOUT ICSE: The Puerto Rico Institute of Competitiveness and Sustainable Economy (ICSE-PR) is an action oriented non-profit educational organization. Through education and well-coordinated collective action, the ICSE-PR and allies are change agents that improve key social, physical and technological infrastructure for sustainable competitive economic activity in Puerto Rico.