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Professor Kirschen discusses renewable energy for Puerto Rico on NPR’s Marketplace

October 10, 2017

Professor Daniel Kirschen

Although it has been a little over two weeks since Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, 90 percent of the island is still without power.

Sustainability advocates see an opportunity; the island is primed for the rebirth of renewable energy. The power grid can be reset and rebuilt around these renewables. However, as experts note, there are a few challenges with this application. With 3.5 million people living in Puerto Rico, the sheer scale and cost of the project is a concern. Additionally, prior to Hurricane Maria, the island used less than 3 percent of their energy from solar and wind.

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges is the immediate need for energy. UW Electrical Engineering Professor Daniel Kirschen spoke with the NPR program Marketplace about this challenge.

“I think in the short run, we’d have to built as quickly as possible,” Kirschen said. “And what that means is rebuilding as it is.

Listen to the full program below: