Last month, ASP Chair of the Business Council, Dante Disparte, authored an article for Forbes discussing Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Irma and Maria and laying out the opportunities and challenges for the future. He addresses the need to privatize and diversify the energy sector to increase resilience and help prevent island-wide blackouts. Because of Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy, finding investors would be difficult but Puerto Rico cannot function as a competitive economy without improved infrastructure. On improving the economy, Disparte also argues, “While tourism is a vital sector across the Caribbean, Puerto Rico’s economy, one of the most diverse in the region, ought to create and absorb a highly-skilled, bi-lingual and future-proof workforce.” Disparte calls for financial engineering to form the investment needed to build the economy.
Disparte also co-wrote an article in International Policy Digest on how Puerto Rico can serve as a blueprint for building more resilient energy infrastructures. He argues that renewable energy can be perceived to pose a threat to essential industries in developed countries, whereas developing economies do not have this burden. They can incorporate low-cost, low-carbon, and decentralized energy into their economies as they continue to develop and emerge on the world stage. Disparte argues, “Distributed microgrid technologies, where energy systems are localized, dynamic, low-cost and zero-carbon are a solution to the physical and economic limitations of existing energy systems.” Using distributed energy resources (DERs) in Puerto Rico can build economic opportunity, modernize energy, and ultimately allow for lasting economic recovery.
For both articles, see links below:
Forbes: Puerto Rico – the Singapore of the Caribbean? by Dante Disparte
International Policy Digest: The Changing Energy System – A Blueprint for Economic Recovery by Dante Disparte