Costa Rica Running on 100% Clean Energy So Far This Year

Costa Rica Running on 100% Clean Energy So Far This Year

by RP Siegel
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Costa Rica's clean #energy boom has led to 12% drop in #electric rates via @Justmeans @RPSiegel #renewables

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Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 8:00am



There are a lot of things to love about Costa Rica. It has great weather, tremendous biodiversity, no army, along with top-notch education and health care. Now, the tropical paradise is even greener than ever. According to the state-run Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the country has produced 100% of its electricity without fossil fuels for the past 75 days. According to an ICE press release, “Durante los primeros 75 días, la electricidad provino de fuentes limpias”— the electricity came from clean sources for the first 75 days (of the year). Wind, solar and biomass got a strong boost from hydropower which benefited from heavy rains.

This burst of clean energy has led to a lowering of electric rates by 12%. ICE predicts that rates will continue to fall into the second quarter. The country is also a leader in low energy prices. The average Costa Rican requires just 7% of the minimum salary to pay for energy, compared with the Latin American average of 14.6%. The government announced in 2009 that it had set a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2021. The nation already gets an average of 88% of its energy from renewables, a number that seems likely to be going up soon. The mix relies heavily on hydropower (68%) and geothermal (15%), which should not be surprising for a land set out among volcanoes and rain forests.

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Image credit: Jonathan Greeley: Wikimedia commons