Emily Holbrook, Energy Manager Today
Regulators in Puerto Rico have introduced a clean energy bill that would put the island on the path to getting 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2050.
The bill calls for 20% renewable electricity by 2025, 50% by 2040, and 100% by 2050. California recently passed a similar bill, with a goal of 100% renewables by 2045. Hawaii passed a similar law in 2015, and this June, added another law with the goal of becoming fully carbon neutral.
As Hurricane Maria illustrated, the island’s electric grid is fragile and, one year after the storm, some generating services aren’t expected to be in service before 2019. This, plus other issue, including aging and inefficient electrical systems, has pushed lawmakers to propose the ambitious renewable energy plan.
The current proposed legislation calls for ending coal power generation on the island by 2028. Though environmentalists have praised the proposal, others are unsure about how Puerto Rico will pay for a shift in infrastructure twice over the next decade.