Over the past 75 days, Costa Rica has sourced 100% of their energy from renewables - 24th March
Costa Rica has made great strides in supporting renewable energy generation and in 2014, they met 90% of their energy demand from renewable sources. Now, Costa Rica is breaking new records and over the past 75 days has sourced 100% of their energy from renewables, namely Hydropower and Geothermal energy.
In a press release, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) stated “The year 2015 has been one of electricity totally friendly to the environment for Costa Rica.” In 2009, the country announced that it wanted to become carbon-neutral by 2021 and in light of its renewable energy generation so far this year, Costa Rica is making significant progress towards this goal.
Hydropower accounts for around 80% of renewable energy generation in Costa Rica. However, reliance on this source of energy raises questions over the countries’ energy security as climate change threatens to alter rainfall patterns and disrupt the supply of hydro-generated power. Consequently, the volcanic-rich country is capitalising on geothermal energy, with this now making up 10% of the energy mix. In mid-2014, the government approved a US$958 million investment into geothermal projects that will generate over 150 MW of electricity. The ICE also announced that they will be developing 100 MWs of wind farm projects throughout 2015.
Costa Rica is setting an excellent example through its commitment to renewable energy generation. It is able to supply reliable, clean power to its citizens and as a result is reaping the environmental and financial rewards. The drop in use of non-renewable energy has seen electricity rates lower by 12% for Costa Rican customers and the ICE predicts this will continue to drop over the next year.
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