Costa Rica ran entirely on renewable energy for almost a full year in 2016.
Last year, the Central American country ran on renewable energy for more than 250 days, as announced by the country’s power operator, with 98.1% of the country’s energy being supplied by renewables, according to the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE).
Large hydropower facilities provided the majority of the country’s 4.9 million residents with electricity, which retrieve their energy from multiple rivers and the heavy seasonal rains. The hydropower facilities are in addition to the use of geothermal plants and wind turbines, alongside biomass and solar power on a smaller scale. The diesel-burning power plants in Costa Rica have barely been used for the past two years.
From the 17th June right through to the 6th October, the country had a 110-day run of carbon-free electricity. A brief use of fossil fuels was used before the clean energy use continued with another stretch of consecutive days without fossil fuels, according to a spokesman from ICE in December. During the previous year, Costa Rica ran on 98.9% renewable energy for the entire year.
Some have noted that the success of Costa Rica’s clean energy use is due to a smaller economy and more natural resources, compared with more industrialised countries such as the United States. Costa Rica’s population is 65 times smaller than the US, meaning that it generates around 373 times less electricity, according to national energy data.
In perspective, the US is still moving in a positive way as nearly 15% of their electricity supply for January until October last year came from renewable sources including hydropower, wind and solar, according to a report by U.S. Energy Information Administration in December.
However, the clean energy success in Costa Rica is planning to continue into 2017 and beyond, which will hopefully give guidance and motivation to numerous other countries around the globe.
Costa Rica has recently built four new wind farms, meaning that this, combined with favourable hydro-meteorological conditions near the country’s hydropower plants, can assist in it remaining running without issue on renewable energy, and getting rid of the use of fossil fuels for good.
IMAGE CREDIT:lkpro / 123RF Stock Photo
About The Author
Jess Murray is a wildlife filmmaker and conservation blogger, having recently returned from studying wildlife and conservation in South Africa, she is now striving to spread awareness about the truth behind faux conservation facilities throughout the world. You can follow Jess on Facebook Here
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