One of the most powerful hurricanes recorded over history stormed into Puerto Rico and resulted in a mass power cut that lasted for months. The households were barred of water, electricity, and in some cases, people were deprived of homes itself. The power grid that existed in Puerto Rico has been demolished beyond repair but that shows little about the deficiency of power in the region. In actuality, only 2% of the total power requirement of Puerto Rico came from renewable sources, while the rest is derived from fossil fuels. The disaster has now shifted focus towards redeveloping Puerto Rico’s power grid and harnessing solar energy to meet power requirements.
Problems of Power Sector in Puerto Rico
It is evident that fossil fuels are not available in abundance and could soon run out. Moreover, burning fossil fuels to generate power results in environmental pollution. However, for Puerto Rico, the problem with depending on fossil fuels goes beyond the concerns of environmental pollution or fossil exhaustion. The power suppliers in the US are regulated by the state and federal governments, and the company that supplied fossil fuels to Puerto Rico has toppled down. In this scenario, the island is not left with any options to fetch fossil fuels from, thus, placing a negative toll on the power sector. Moreover, the government has not agreed to raise electricity rates, and hence, the power authority in Puerto Rico cannot upgrade or repair the power setup of the region.
The vulnerability of islands to storms and hurricanes could cause prolonged power outages in the future. In this scenario, it is sensible to have an effective network of power micro-grids that can ensure a regular supply of power at all times. The benefit of micro-grids over single grids is that they have an ambit of operation and supply power only to houses and offices covered by them.