Policy - 15/May/2018

Puerto Rico struggles back from the brink

Hurricanes wiped out Puerto Rico’s power grid, creating an opportunity to rebuild with cleaner modern technologies. But financial and institutional barriers stand in the way.

The two massive hurricanes that decimated Puerto Rico in the autumn of 2017 managed something that was unthinkable in the developed world, knocking out power to millions of people for months on end. The ongoing lack of electricity has crippled the economy, contributing to a mass exodus from the island and a sharp increase in suicides. In terms of energy, the disaster may spur fundamental change with solar and storage taking the place of antiquated oil generators as the basis for a rebuilt Puerto Rican power system. But ongoing political and financial chaos, combined with a recalcitrant utility, make any outcome uncertain. ...

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