Penn State Science Policy Society Presents
Science on Tap: Energy Policy in the Aftermath of Hurricane Maria
After the catastrophe caused by 2017’s Hurricane Maria, many Puerto Ricans were left without electricity for months. Now, what is the best plan to radically reform electricity access on the Caribbean island? Better still, how do we reform our national and global energy systems to meet the goal of net-zero carbon emissions? Is Puerto Rico the canary in the coal mine or something more?
Dr. Cecilio Ortiz Garcia and Dr. Marla Perez-Lugo are co-Founders of the University of Puerto Rico’s National Institute of Energy and Island Sustainability, recognized after Hurricane Maria by the Department of Energy as “the foundation in which to firmly establish Puerto Rico as a Center for Excellence on distributed grid operations, and could also provide both the supply of interdisciplinary engineers and policymakers Puerto Rico will need and the expertise other island and remote grid systems will need in their transition to a distributed, resilient electric sector." Dr. Ortiz is Senior Fellow on Resilience at the National Council for Science and the Environment in Washington DC, as well as Distinguished Research Fellow at the Global Resiliency Institute at Northeastern University in Boston. and Summer Research Scholar in Energy Security and Resilience at PennState. Dr. Perez Lugo is currently an appointed member of the EPA’s and the NIH’s National Advisory Committee, Resilience Fellow at the National Council for Science and the Environment and currently, Summer Research Scholar in Energy Security and Resilience at PennState.
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