Costa Rica is currently running solely on fossil fuels, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute announced. For the past 75 days, the entire country’s electricity requirement has been produced by a combination of sustainable energy technologies. Most of the country’s power comes from hydro technology, and thanks to recent heavy rainfall, Costa Rica’s hydropower plants are now producing almost 100% of the country’s electricity. The remaining energy requirement is topped up from a combination of solar, geothermal and wind sources.
This has been going on since early January, 2015, but there’s no saying how long it will last. Costa Rica has some advantages when it comes to sustainable energy generation, such as its sub-5-million population, lack of energy intensive industries such as manufacturing, and it’s natural landscape. Costa Rica’s rivers are perfect for harnessing hydropower, and the presence of volcanoes make it ideal for geothermal systems, too.
Costa Rica is about to begin a huge geothermal investment project – to the tune of $640 million – in order to lessen its dependency on hydropower. Although the country only stands to benefit, for example, when experiencing high levels of rainfall – a drought, or even unexpected seasonal changes in rainfall, could spell serious trouble for Costa Rica’s energy. The geothermal project will also help to achieve the nation’s goal of being completely carbon neutral by 2021.
Now, while Britain may not be in a position to even consider going 100% renewable in the near future, Costa Rica’s environmental milestone is leading the way to a more sustainable future by promoting sustainable energy generation, and showing that it can be done. This achievement will hopefully provide encouragement for the other nations of the world – even for those with a long way yet still to go.
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