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.

Hurricane season compounds risks, highlights need for solutions

Amid an ongoing fiscal crisis and struggling economy, the public health response to COVID-19 has stretched local resources available for hurricane preparedness. Providing communal storm shelter during a pandemic also raises serious public health concerns, and many residents lack adequate housing to begin with.

Nearly three years after Hurricane Maria, roughly 3,000 families still have blue tarps as roofs and a series of earthquakes in January left many in the southwest region of the island living in unstable or unreliable structures. These disasters also underscore how fragile and vulnerable the electric grid remains, largely due to its c....

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