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Electricity in Puerto Rico in 2021

Global Ranking: #93
2.8% #176 Low-carbon electricity
639.49 watts #55 Generation / person
637.89 gCO2eq/kWh #189 Carbon Intensity
None Electricity imports

In 2021, Puerto Rico's electricity consumption relied heavily on fossil fuels, which encompassed a significant 97.2% of the total electricity produced. The remaining 2.8% was produced from low-carbon energy sources. In terms of specifics, solar energy provided close to 1.5%, wind a little less than 1%, hydropower contributed a slight 0.27%, and biofuels only made up a small 0.16% of the total electricity production. Therefore, it is clear that the scope for increasing the use of low-carbon energy sources in Puerto Rico is substantial. The country neither imports nor exports electricity from or to other nations, indicating that any adjustments to its energy portfolio will have to be managed within the country itself.


To increase its low-carbon energy generation, Puerto Rico could glean from successful strategies employed by other countries. For instance, France, Ukraine, Slovakia, Belgium, and Switzerland rely significantly on nuclear energy, providing 61%, 58%, 57%, 47% and 35% of their electricity needs from nuclear power respectively. Investing in nuclear energy facilities might be a viable option given its capability of supplying a substantial portion of electricity without producing greenhouse gases. Furthermore, wind energy has demonstrated considerable potential in countries such as Denmark and Ireland, both generating more than a third of their electricity from wind power. Given Puerto Rico's geographical location being exposed to stable wind speeds, there is potential for harnessing wind energy. Solar energy shines in nations like Chile, Yemen, Vanuatu, El Salvador, and Australia, each deriving over 10% of their electricity from solar power. As Puerto Rico experiences high solar insolation year-round, solar power could be another low-carbon energy source ripe for exploration.


Historically, the efforts towards low-carbon electricity in Puerto Rico have been variable and relatively scant. The use of hydropower witnessed a slight increase between 1996 and 1999, but subsequently declined and plateaued from 2000 onwards. Wind energy was introduced in 2013 with moderate initial success, but its growth rate stagnated in the subsequent years. Solar power was incorporated into the energy mix in 2015. However, its contribution did not change much until 2019, where it saw a small increase. The lack of significant growth in both wind and solar energy outputs, combined with a decrease in hydropower, indicate that Puerto Rico has yet to fully leverage the potential of low-carbon sources in its electricity production.

Data Sources

For the years 1980 to 1989 the data source is EIA.
For the years 1990 to 1999 the data sources are EIA and Enerdata (imports/exports).
For the years 2000 to 2021 the data source is Ember.