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Solar Energy: Adequate Solution for Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico is exploring opportunities to work with Tesla Corporation on rebuilding the island’s power grid. The country’s infrastructure was left in shambles after Hurricane Maria hit the island a couple of weeks ago. Dr Muhammad Asif from Glasgow University spoke to Sputnik about whether solar grids could provide with a long-term solution.

“Tesla has already installed a few solar power systems on a few smaller islands, though it is on a smaller scale. However, Tesla also offered to address the power shortages in Southern Australia to fulfill their electricity needs, so Elon Musk has a reputation of coming out with innovative answers to such challenges,” Asif said.

He further spoke about all the positive aspects of solar technology that exist nowadays. However, for developing countries, switching to solar energy may not be that simple due to the costs.

For Puerto Rico, according to the expert, converting to solar energy right now would be a very costly choice due to its tremendous debt and the costs of rebuilding the area following the hurricane.

“The most optimum combination would be conventional power generation plus renewable energy sources. A complete switch to solar or other renewable energies would be a huge economic and financial commitment,” Asif said.

He further spoke about the crisis in Puerto Rico and why the authorities are not able to manage the relief work as adequately as required.

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“There is a need for an immediate response to such things as clean water, food, fuel and health care. It is a time to remind ourselves that natural disasters are now happening at an alarmingly high frequency and greater intensity,” the expert said.

He explained that it seems that the agencies around the world working for relief efforts are not managing to come to everyone’s aid due to the frequency of disasters around the globe.

The expert added that, more often than not, it is the underdeveloped countries, which already have limited resources that are unfortunately affected by calamities such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and so on.

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