Article ID: CBB741220720

Community Energy Projects in the Caribbean: Advancing Socio-Economic Development and Energy Transitions (September 2019)


Efrain O'Neill-Carrill (Author)
Emmanuel Mercado (Author)
Oscar Luhring (Author)
Isaac Jordan (Author)
Agustin Irizarry-Rivera (Author)

IEEE Technology and Society Magazine
Volume: 38
Issue: 3
Pages: 44-55

Publication Date: September 2019
Edition Details: Special issue on ISTAS 2018: Technology, Ethics and Policy
Language: English

In 2017 Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit Puerto Rico (PR) and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and proved that the centralized power system model is vulnerable and inadequate in regions prone to natural disasters. Distributed energy resources (DERs) represent opportunities to increase the use of renewable energy while improving preparedness and resiliency in the Caribbean, and while also enabling local socio-economic activities. Social considerations related to DERs include those related to transforming users from passive consumers to active energy actors. To develop recommendations to improve community-based DER initiatives in support of sustainability and resiliency, the authors employed interactions and work from engineering and social science students, as well as meetings with community leaders. Emphasizing a sense of community, social capital, and empowerment were identified as essential aspects for the success of a community-based project. A framework that emphasizes human behavior within the environment (natural and social) was suggested to guide community DER efforts, both within the community and also to deal with external factors such as government policies and social misconceptions. Although this article focuses on Puerto Rico as a test case, the recommendations are applicable to other tropical regions, as well as other isolated areas with weak electric power systems. [Peer reviewed]

Included in

Article Jeremy Pitt; Katina Michael; Terri Bookman (September 2019) ISTAS 2018: Technology, Ethics, and Policy [Special Issue Introduction]. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine (pp. 21-23). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Coeckelbergh, Mark
Noam Bergman
Fatima K. Espinoza Vasquez
Paulo Feitosa
Debbie Hopkins
Tom Kane
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine
Social Studies of Science
Science, Technology, and Human Values
Public Understanding of Science
Comparative Technology Transfer and Society
Technology and Culture
MIT Press
Duke University Press
Public policy
Technology and government
Renewable Energy Sources
Energy resources and technologies
Science and technology studies (STS)
Electricity and Electrical Power
Time Periods
21st century
20th century, late
20th century
United States
Great Britain
Tehuantepec, Isthmus of
Arabian peninsula
Gulf Cooperation Council

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