Puertorican power grid

by Juan Luz

On my 25 years of life I have had the opportunity to live in three (3) countries (Colombia, Puerto Rico, USA). Thankfully to my family, I always was conscious of how my family and I used energy around the house. In Colombia for example, energy prices are pretty low since the major generation is based on hydroelectric power plants. Since little I was raised with the idea of turning off the bedroom lights when I left the room, etc.  When I moved to Puerto Rico, everything changed. The Puertorican power grid is old and their generation is based in oil. Power plants are old and inefficient therefore the energy cost is almost as high as Hawaii. I grew to be most conscious of energy use since using the A/C would consider a big increment in the monthly power bill so I learned to sleep without the A/C. After I finished my electrical engineering degree my perspective of energy consumption and how I used energy changed to. I tough my mom on how to save some extra bucks with our power bill and because of that when the big increment in power came to the island we were still paying no more than $70.00 (which is very cheap).

From my perspective, Energy is wasted everyday and every night. At night, you can see office buildings without anybody working almost completely turned on. This a major concern not only in the United States but around the world. Thankfully most of this companies are being more energy thoughtful and are remodeling their buildings to be more energy efficient by installing motion sensors on their floors so that they can save big bucks on their power bill.

People now days believe that electricity is a right and thats why they take it for granted. The reality of things is that energy is a luxury that we have. Many third world countries don’t have power running 100% on their country, Colombia is one of those countries were a big number of people don’t get electric power. What history has showed us is that although energy has become an essential part of our lives we, the human race; can live without electric power.

If we look about supply and demand from in a big global picture, I strongly believe that is a big issue that need to be addressed quickly. World population is growing fast, technology is evolving even faster and our dependence to energy is far even greater. this means that the demand will continue to increase, meaning the use of more fossil fuels and therefore being a big burden to the environment and to the planet itself. although renewable sources of energy are being implemented, for the moment this sources cant keep up with the constant and increment in demand.

I strongly believe that some of the current energy fuels being used are an issue as well as other that aren’t. I believe that with the advancements in technology, new efficient forms of using energy fuels like natural gas, nuclear, geothermal, oceanic, hydro, solar, wind will be design in order to supply the energy demand that as stated before is always in increase. Although oil is the most used energy fuel, is one that will eventually end to exist but since is very profitable big corporations will always seek a way of delay alternative fuels in order to put their agenda in front.

When looking at the Dependence of the Human Development Index (HDI) on energy use per capita some conclusion can be drawn. First, we can observe that on a big picture we can see that several countries have a high HDI, those include the U.S., Canada and various European countries. What points out from this is the fact that although this countries have almost the same HDI, the energy use per capita is higher in the US and Canada. I assume at first that the reason this two countries have a high energy use is because energy is cheaper that in other countries. Following that assumption, I speculate that, like stated before, the North-American population (US and Canada) take for granted this luxury of having a low energy bill to maximize their energy consumption. Another assumption is that US and Canada have a big dependence for oil based energy while Renewable forms of energy are used but on a lower percentage. For example, looking at the image, we see various 1st world countries like UK, Switzerland, Japan or Germany. This countries have a similar HDI but have a lower energy use based on oil. Why this countries have a lower energy use? According to the news countries like Germany are countries that are pioneers on renewable energy and although the energy bill may be higher than the US, they have lower their dependence on oil.

Leave A Comment