Vision for the Future
Tomás Torres currently serves as Executive of the Institute for Competitiveness and Sustainable Economy of Puerto Rico (ICSE-PR). He was a member of the Puerto Rico Planning Board and has chaired the Energy Committee at the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association for the past two years.
Cathy Kunkel is an energy analyst for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, where her recent work has focused on utilities in the mid-Atlantic region and Puerto Rico. Previously she worked for Energy Efficient West Virginia and was a senior research associate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Hurricane Maria's devastation of Puerto Rico in September 2017 reinforced the general understanding that the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) cannot stand on its own.
Unnecessary delays, lack of coordination with national utilities and dubious contracts resulted in intermittent service restoration to just fifty percent of customers three months after the hurricane.
PREPA needs fundamental reform, alongside strong supervision from the Puerto Rico Energy Commission (PREC) and the Fiscal Oversight and Management Board (FOMB).
We propose basic strategies that can transform the current electrical system into one that is strongly regulated in line with U.S. mainland standards.
The new system should be resilient, environmentally compliant, competitive, and compatible with robust development of distributed energy resources. It should be built around diverse sources of energy, including a significant amount of indigenous renewable electricity.