Puerto Rico Considers 100% Renewable Energy, But Natural Gas May Come First

Hospitals in Puerto Rico got an infusion of solar power from Tesla after Hurricane Maria struck in 2017. There was talk then of a renewable energy revolution as the island considered how to rebuild its broken power system. Credit: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP/Getty Images As Puerto Rico rebuilds from last year’s hurricanes, lawmakers on the island territory have introduced an ambitious clean energy bill that would commit Puerto Rico to getting 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2050. Environmental advocates praised the proposed legislation’s long-term target, but they are raising concerns about its emphasis on establishing privately owned natural gas power generation in the short-term, and about the beleaguered public utility’s ability to meet the renewable energy goal. "Having 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 in Puerto Rico would be fantastic, but their past performance doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence," said Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. "Also, they are enabling this poorly regulated privatization process that could well end up constructing fossil fuel projects that are going to come into conflict with that mandate." Inside the future of energy. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the troubled […]

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