Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

July 2014: The World’s New Energy Order

Can Puerto Rico take advantage of it?

Politics overseas coupled with new technologies and rising economic needs in Asia have been reshaping the fundamentals of world energy markets for some time already. Social and economic upheaval in the Middle East, including the possibility of lifting Iran’s long-standing sanctions, has created new vested interests. Long dormant, yet unresolved, issues in South East Asia have resurfaced as China’s economic and military assertiveness remains in place. On the other side of the globe, the US is edging ever closer to effective energy independence thanks, in small amount, to the development of induced hydraulic fracturing. All these shifts will lead to more competition in energy markets, which, in principle, augurs well for PR. However, that may not necessarily translate into improvements on the ground if conditions on the Island do not change. There is still time but the window of opportunity at home is closing by the hour. PREPA, the electric power authority, is currently the island’s biggest challenge and opportunity for change.