By Cris Batista | Jun 13, 2024

The Dirty Side of Clean Energy in Puerto Rico

Mijente and IDEBAJO (Jobos Bay Eco-Development Initiative) commissioned Empower, LLC to research the ways in which clean energy is being used as an excuse to generate profits for corporations with shady practices in Puerto Rico. Ultimately, the myth of “clean” energy can be dismantled to reveal the true cost of these corporate megaprojects.

This 2024 report analyzes approved energy renewal projects in Puerto Rico that are operated by private energy companies. We provide, first, an examination of the ownership structures and afterwards analyze them across three core issues:

  1. their environmental and social toll,
  2. any corruption baked into their approvals,
  3. and the false promise of lower prices.

This report will show how Putnam Bridge, through CIRO Group, and AES, through Clean Flexible Energy, have deployed shady practices to expand their business activities in Puerto Rico. It turns out that their motivations are clear: these corporate megaprojects are merely to clean up their reputations and gain more profits.

And who pays the highest costs? The reality is shameful: These projects all come at the expense of cheap, accessible energy, the living conditions of communities near the projects, and the arable farmland that is indispensable for the archipelago’s food security.

Our findings unquestionably expose the truth: Industrial-scale, corporate, and hedge fund-owned solar projects are NOT a clean alternative to the existing electrical system. Instead, they exacerbate the deep-rooted issues that threaten Puerto Rico’s independence and resiliency.

While the transition to decentralized, democratic and decolonized, renewable energy is much needed, a transformative transition cannot be made without the voices of those on the ground. These changes must center those who are fighting for:

  • their human and environmental rights,
  • public and social control over the power generation system and resources,
  • and democratization of the country’s economy.

In other words: no more corporate megaprojects and no more privatization.

The communities impacted by these megaprojects demand to be heard.

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