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Puerto Rico to develop a new energy policy and regulatory framework
Written By: Jen Neville
October 31, 2018
Rocky Mountain Institute and the Institute for Competitiveness and Sustainable Economy for Puerto Rico recently launched the capstone report – the Public Collaborative for Puerto Rico’s Energy Transformation. The devastation caused by the recent hurricanes unveiled the opportunity for and urgency of a significant reformation of Puerto Rico’s electricity system
The report lists the recommendations created by a diverse group of participants, reflecting areas of agreement and disagreement, and endorsed by twenty-six of the forty-one participating stakeholders to inform new Puerto Rican energy policy. State Act 120 requires Puerto Rico to develop a new energy policy and regulatory framework by November.
“The collaborative report encapsulates tangible advice for policymakers that we hope will be utilized to shape the new energy policy and the collaborative transformation of Puerto Rico’s energy future,” stated Roy Torbert, Principal at Rocky Mountain Institute.
Specific recommendations listed for policymakers in four key areas:
– The promotion of an energy vision for Puerto Rico’s self-sufficiency and credibility
– An independent regulator with enforcement powers
– A modern regulatory framework and integrated resource plan (IRP)
– The involvement of cooperatives and municipalities in the transition
“Different than other efforts in the past, focused on particular solutions, plans or ideas, the collaborative effort as a whole and its report reflects the main concerns and recommendations in a comprehensive manner, considering a broad participation of stakeholders. This report is an indicator, of a wide-ranging sector of Puerto Rico society, of the main concerns and path forward towards transformation of our electrical grid,” stated Tomás J. Torres, Executive Director of the ICSE.
ICSE-PR and RMI will continue to contribute to reshaping Puerto Rico’s energy future. RMI is working on a project with Save the Children to bring solar microgrids to 12 primary schools and on an island-wide microgrid project with Resilient Power Puerto Rico. ICSE-PR recently completed a project that provided emergency solar lighting to low-income communities and children. ICSE is currently focusing on multisectoral education projects and capacity building related to the transformation of the Puerto Rico grid.
Collaborative process participants acknowledged both areas of agreement and disagreement for policymakers to consider. Some believe that Puerto Rico can serve as an example to others of what a resilient, clean, people-oriented co-creative energy system planning looks like. The process is not only applicable to energy but also in driving change across other critical sectors of the economy.
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