In a refreshing bit of news from the United States Virgin Islands, the US territory is now poised to meet a third of its electricity needs from solar energy. From pv magazine:
The solar-plus-storage system is expected to fulfill 30% of the islands’ energy consumption needs.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Virgin Islands have heavily relied on fossil fuels to generate electricity in the past. This means residents accrued expensive electricity costs that fluctuated with global oil prices.
“In 2009, the U.S. Virgin Islands were almost 100% dependent on imported oil for electricity, water desalination and transportation, resulting in electricity costs nearly four times the U.S. national average,” the DOE said.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration states that at the start of 2022, U.S. Virgin Island residents paid an average of ¢0.41 kW/h, down from ¢0.47 kW/h in 2015. However, this was almost three times more than the average U.S. power price of ¢0.15 kW/h in 2022.
Since then, the U.S. Virgin Islands have set a goal to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels for energy production by 60% by 2025. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) adds that the U.S. Virgin Islands also want to generate 30% of peak capacity from renewables by 2025.
The progress in the USVI is in contrast with neighboring Puerto Rico, where goals to increase energy output from renewable sources are far from being met.