Costa Rica fulfills its power needs solely with clean energy
In what may be considered as a major clean energy landmark, Costa Rica has been able to meet 100 percent of its power demand with renewable energy alone for 75 straight days, according to a report.
San Jose: In what may be considered as a major clean energy landmark, Costa Rica has been able to meet 100 percent of its power demand with renewable energy alone for 75 straight days, according to a report.
“The year 2015 has been one of electricity totally friendly to the environment for Costa Rica,” the state-owned power supplier, Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), said in a press release, which was cited by the Science journal.
The ICE said that the Central American country was able to achieve the zero-emission milestone thanks to heavy rainfall at four hydroelectric power facilities in the first quarter of 2015.
This downpour has ensured that, for the months of January, February and so far March, there has been no need to burn fossil fuels to generate electricity.
Instead, Costa Rica has been powered primarily by hydropower -- both from pumped storage and run-of-the-river plants -- and a mixture of geothermal, wind, biomass and solar energies.
The small nation of Costa Rica has a total area of about 51,000 sq km, which is about half the size of the US state of Kentucky, and has a population of only 4.8 million.
Its primary industries are tourism and agriculture, rather than heavy, more energy-intensive industries such as mining or manufacturing.
Still, Costa Rica has been able to develop its electricity sector, and supplying affordable, reliable power to its citizens.
According to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) 2014 Global Competitiveness Index, Costa Rica ranks second among Latin American countries behind only Uruguay with regard to electricity and telecommunications infrastructure.
Costa Rica's record on renewable energy generation also stands out. Last year, hydropower accounted for 80 percent of all electricity production, while geothermal energy was reported in 2010 to account for over 13 percent of the country's electricity profile.
New geothermal projects are in the pipeline to help the volcano-rich country capitalise further on this subterranean energy source.
In mid-2014, the Costa Rican government approved a $958-million geothermal energy project.