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Puerto Rico enacts law to eliminate fossil fuels as power generation fuel

  • 1 year, 1 month ago (2019-04-12)
  • David Flin
Latin America 35 Renewables 644

Puerto Rico has enacted a law that requires the progressive elimination of fossil fuels as a source of power generation. The new law establishes a timeline for the implementation of renewable energy on the island: elimination of 20 per cent of fossil use by 2022; 40 per cent by 2025; and 60 per cent by 2040. By 2050, the law says that Puerto Rico should be using only renewable energy sources.

Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares said: “This new measure, together with the law for the transformation of the Electric Power Authority, provides us with the necessary tools to reform the way we view energy production and consumption. We are taking an advanced step to improve the quality of life for all who reside in Puerto Rico.”

The new law provides for the modernisation of the energy grid to develop an intelligent and flexible system that can integrate new technology and renewable energy. The law requires the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) transfer its power generation assets through sale or public-private partnership, and stipulates that no company can own more than 50 per cent of those assets. In addition, contractors that acquire or operate PREPA’s powerplants are required to modernise or replace them with efficient plants within five years.

José Ortiz Vázquez, CEO of PREPA, said: “The low cost of solar energy and battery systems will make implementation of this law possible, providing options to consumers and making the energy grid more resilient.” He said that operators would be asked to use biomass instead of coal now, rather than waiting until it became mandatory in 2028.