After going through an energy crisis, Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Roselló signed the Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act, which claims the island will be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2050. Not only this, but they must draw 40% of their energy from renewables by 2025.
Impacts of the Bill
The idea of this bill is to end coal-based energy by 2020, and the complete elimination of coal use by 2028. Additionally, the bill enforces a 30% energy efficiency requirement. Since Puerto Rico was only powered by 2% renewable energy in 2017, while being run on 47% petroleum, 37% natural gas, and 17% coal, this is a huge step in the right direction.
This bill will not only cut down on carbon emissions, but cut down on energy costs in Puerto Rico, as most of their energy costs come from the high import prices of fossil fuels. After Hurricane Maria destroyed 80% of Puerto Rico’s energy sources, the island wants to insure that something like this won’t happen in the future, and renewable energy is their solution.
“I’m pretty sure that this will be, by leaps and bounds, the quickest transition to renewables that’s ever happened anywhere on the planet” claimed P.J. Wilson, President of the Solar and Energy Storage Association of Puerto Rico. “To go from  percent today to 40 percent by five years from now will be the biggest challenge the renewable energy industry has ever faced, on top of a very challenging political situation and a challenging financial situation.”
Hopefully this will set a precedent for how the states in the United States approach energy laws, as well as the rest of the world. With proposals such as the Green New Deal being proposed in the United States, and countries such as Costa Rica already running on 100% renewable energy, it’s only time until other countries follow suit.
Madeline is a writer for the Energy section at The Rising and a Environmental Sustainability and Psychology student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.