It turns into clearer how Puerto Rico can obtain its aim of acquiring 100% of its electrical energy from renewable vitality sources by 2050.
In the course of a two-year examine by the federal authorities, known as PR100, researchers concluded that the island has way more renewable vitality potential than it wants. The report was launched on Monday. The researchers discovered that there’s a desire amongst many residents for “distributed vitality,” which is produced near the place it’s used. Rooftop photo voltaic panels are the most typical instance of that.
“We now have confirmed that these techniques are immune to hurricane winds, and that they’ll present sturdy vitality, inside hours after the storm,” mentioned Agustín Carbó, Director of the Division’s Puerto Rico Grid Modernization and Restoration Workforce of Power. Based on him, the present system of smaller, centralized and enormous energy crops will take longer to revive electrical energy to your complete island, particularly in distant and mountainous areas.
Final 12 months the DOE’s Nationwide Renewable Power Laboratory, with funding from the Federal Emergency Administration Company, started learning choices to transition the island to 100% renewable vitality by the 12 months 2050. The aim is to construct an electrical energy system. stronger towards future storms, which local weather change analysis reveals can be greater and extra highly effective.
The plan is to change from imported fossil fuels – petroleum, pure fuel and coal – to cleaner sources reminiscent of photo voltaic and wind. One other aim is to make electrical energy cheaper. The island’s electrical energy charges are about twice as excessive as common charges throughout the US The federal examine is predicted to be accomplished by the top of this 12 months.
4 totally different eventualities have been modeled to satisfy Puerto Rico’s targets – all together with further rooftop photo voltaic mixed with battery storage. First is the concentrate on the set up of distributed vitality in buildings the place the homeowners can then get the monetary advantages of producing electrical energy. The second focuses on vital providers, reminiscent of hospitals, hearth stations and grocery shops. The third contains prioritizing deployment in distant and low- to moderate-income households to distribute advantages equitably. The final possibility is to put in photo voltaic panels on as many different roofs as attainable.
Even earlier than all of the photo voltaic panels are put in, the examine’s authors say the island wants extra electrical energy technology.
“Vital further technology capability is clearly wanted instantly to enhance reliability, which is a matter that everybody in Puerto Rico is combating after Hurricanes Maria and Fiona,” mentioned Carbó, who beforehand chaired the Puerto Rico Power Fee. . He says fossil fuels are nonetheless wanted within the quick time period because the island works to succeed in its 100% renewable aim.
The Division of Power and FEMA gathered enter for the examine with an advisory panel of almost 100 folks and 50 public, personal and nonprofit organizations.
“For too lengthy, Puerto Ricans have lived in an antiquated and costly electrical energy system the place pointless limitations and lengthy delays have prevented vital enhancements,” mentioned the Secretary of Power. Jennifer Granholm in a written assertion accompanying a progress report on the examine.
Puerto Rico’s grid collapsed in 2017 after Hurricane Maria hit the island, killing a minimum of 3,000 residents. Months later crews struggled to revive manufacturing capability and rebuild transmission traces. After years of discontent over mismanagement and corruption within the US territory’s public energy firm, the Puerto Rico Electrical Energy Authority, was privatized.
In September, Hurricane Fiona introduced greater than 30 inches of rain in some areas and knocked out energy on the island once more. There may be widespread discontent with the personal firm, LUMA, which the federal government awarded a $1.5 billion contract to function the grid.
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