Energizing Puerto Rico’s Renewable Revolution

The Renewable Energy Producers Association (APER) is at the forefront of accelerating Puerto Rico’s transition to a sustainable, resilient energy future powered by renewable sources.

“Our mission is to foster an environment that enables the growth of the renewable energy industry across all scales and modalities in Puerto Rico,” stated Julián Herencia, Executive Director of APER. “We’re here to ensure the industry as a whole thrives, reaches its full potential, and ultimately benefits all of Puerto Rico.”

APER recognizes that achieving the island’s ambitious clean energy targets requires a comprehensive approach, involving residential rooftop systems, community projects, commercial installations, and utility-scale facilities. “Every piece of the puzzle plays a vital role,” Herencia emphasized, citing a U.S. Department of Energy study.

The association is committed to dismantling misinformation and addressing concerns surrounding renewable energy development. Herencia provided data-driven insights refuting claims that large-scale solar projects are hampering agricultural lands and food security.

“Over the past ten years, Puerto Rico has lost approximately 97,000 cuerdas of agricultural land,” Herencia revealed. “Today, solar projects occupy only 750 cuerdas – a fraction of the total land lost, and those 750 cuerdas are still classified as agricultural land, retaining their potential for future farming activities.”

For APER, the push for renewables in Puerto Rico extends beyond energy independence and resilience. “Fossil fuels pollute our air and accelerate climate change,” Herencia explained. “By transitioning to clean solar, wind, and energy storage, we can build an affordable energy future that protects public health and preserves our environment for future generations.”

While challenges arise, Herencia’s mantra remains steadfast: “Adelante a todo vapor” – full steam ahead. “We must confront fears head-on, seek alternatives when faced with obstacles, and resolutely move forward, united in pursuit of progress,” he affirmed.

As Puerto Rico navigates its path towards a renewable energy revolution, APER stands as a beacon of hope, fostering collaboration, dispelling myths, and advocating for a comprehensive approach that harmonizes clean energy development with concurrent priorities such as food security and economic growth.

“Together, we can turn Puerto Rico into a model of sustainability for the world,” Herencia concluded. “If we could put up one billboard, it would simply say: ‘Never lose hope.’ Together, we can light the way to a resilient, renewable future that empowers communities in Puerto Rico for generations to come.”

Note: View the full episode of the podcast ‘Energía en transición here.