Puerto Rico Needs Swift Action and Concrete Solutions to its Energy Crisis

Statement from Agustín F. Carbó, Senior Manager, Energy Transition at Environmental Defense Fund

April 7, 2022
Debora Schneider, (212) 616-1377

Since 2017 Puerto Rico has been experiencing long and repeated electric services disruptions. Most recently, power outages have become especially frequent and widespread, resulting in an island-wide humanitarian and economic crisis. While some work on the system has occurred since Hurricane Maria, progress has been slow and uneven, and the lack of maintenance and investment in modern electric infrastructure is taking a real toll at a time when Puerto Rico’s communities are paying higher rates for electricity while experiencing inconsistent service and blackouts. This crisis underscores the need for Puerto Rico’s leadership to prioritize clean energy policies and plans and invest in infrastructure needed to get the island on track to source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050.

“It is unacceptable that five years after hurricane Maria nothing has fundamentally changed. The current energy crisis is dire, and Puerto Ricans and the island’s economy are suffering. We urge the government, PREPA and LUMA to find concrete solutions and take swift and effective action to resolve the situation.”

“There is plenty of blame to go around, but the focus must be in modernizing the electricity system now and for the long-term. The technology that Puerto Rico needs already exists, and its communities have been tremendously ingenious and resourceful albeit the lack of resources. It’s time to let them lead by implementing sound policies already on the books – like the Integrated Resource Plan – to bring clean, affordable and reliable energy to all Puerto Ricans.”

Environmental Defense Fund seeks to identify effective and equitable energy solutions that can bring clean, community-centered electricity to Puerto Rico and can meet the daily needs of its residents, while making the island more resilient to climate change. Our work centers on advancing a community-driven solar and storage project on the island of Culebra and supporting a range of partners who are driving systemic change to the energy system across Puerto Rico. We approach this work holistically, leveraging our technical expertise, sustainable financing tools and energy reform experience to help develop long-term solutions to the territory’s energy crisis. For more information, visit www.edf.org/PuertoRico.

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Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With offices in the United States, China, Mexico, United Kingdom and Indonesia, EDF’s 750 scientists, economists, attorneys – and our partners and allies – work in 26 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and our Energy Program blog.