Like many island communities, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) is almost 100% dependent on fossil fuels for electricity and transportation. This total reliance on oil leaves the territory vulnerable to global oil price fluctuations that can have devastating economic effects on individuals and businesses. USVI electricity costs are over four times the U.S. average, making energy price spikes extremely difficult for ratepayers to absorb. And like other island communities around the world, the U.S. Virgin Islands are among the first to feel the impact of the environmental threats associated with fossil fuel-based energy sources—rising sea levels, intense hurricanes, and widespread loss of coral reefs due to ocean acidification.
Such risks and hardships incurred by islands offer mounting evidence that the status quo is unsustainable. In the USVI and other island communities, this has created a sense of urgency around the need to dramatically transform the way energy is sourced, generated, and used. In response, islands around the globe have adopted some of the most aggressive clean energy goals. The USVI’s goal is to reduce fossil fuel use 60% from business as usual by 2025...(read more...)