On the Carbon Copy podcast this week:
Nearly five years ago, Puerto Rico’s grid was decimated by Hurricane Maria. In the aftermath of the destruction, many hoped that Puerto Rico’s new grid could be built around solar and batteries instead of centralized gas, coal and oil plants connected via far-flung transmission lines.
But that’s not how the recovery played out. Today, Puerto Rico still relies heavily on centralized fossil fuels. Residents continue to experience protracted blackouts, and the island’s utility is still facing accusations of mismanagement.
But a bottom-up movement has emerged supporting tens of thousands of rooftop solar and battery installations. These systems are being installed with minimal support from the government.
Will this distributed energy help make Puerto Rico more resilient? Or will the island lock in more fossil fuels?
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