Energy Exchange

Resilience in the eye of the storm: how Puerto Rico can build a stronger, more sustainable energy future

By Agustín Carbó and Amalia Saladrigas

En español

The Atlantic hurricane season is under way and scientists predict it will be one of the strongest in recent memory, as climate change makes more frequent and severe storms the new normal. For communities across Puerto Rico, already battered by an array of crises, the need to plot a more resilient future is urgent.

Energy is a critical lifeline for Puerto Ricans, and residents’ health and well-being depend on a stable and reliable source of power. Previous disasters, from hurricanes to earthquakes, have shown how unreliable and fragile the current centralized energy system is.

Now, the archipelago has an opportunity to reimagine its electric infrastructure in a way that puts communities first with more sustainable and resilient solutions.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Community Solar, Grid Modernization, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy / Comments are closed

Two years after Hurricane Maria, community leader stresses the need for long-lasting solutions

Cristobal Jimenez

Cristobal Jimenez is a community leader in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. He is one of the many survivors of Hurricane Maria. Recently, Cristobal and members of his community have been working to find long-lasting solutions to their energy challenges, effective ways to address the needs of their families and preparations for the future in the wake of superstorms.

Below is an edited version of the conversation we had with him.

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Also posted in Clean Energy / Comments are closed

Preparing for hurricane season in Puerto Rico with long-term solutions

With hurricane season upon us again, I am reminded of the lessons learned after the devastation we went through in 2017, when thousands of people in Puerto Rico went without electricity for nearly a year after Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island. Many communities had limited access to clean water, food and health services.

As much as we’ve been able to rebuild, a lot of work remains to be done to prepare for the future. As temperatures rise, we see stronger, more frequent and more deadly hurricanes. We must ensure their outcome affects people as minimally as possible. This will require a better understanding of what communities need to rebuild and adapt, what technology can be deployed to address specific challenges — such as a modern, more resilient grid and infrastructure —and the tools that can be used to finance them.

Many local officials and communities in Puerto Rico are making remarkable progress to make this transformation possible. Following their lead is essential to making any solution to the island’s energy crisis successful in the long- term. Communities, energy reform, technology and finance – all have a role to play in protecting the island from the next super storm, while improving the quality of life for all its residents and strengthening its economy long into the future.

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Also posted in Clean Energy / Comments are closed