As of April 24th, Costa Rica has generated all of its electricity this year using only renewable resources. In a report released last week, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute believes the energy streak is likely to continue, estimating that Costa Rica will end 2015 having obtained 97% percent of its energy from renewables.
Costa Rica has long been investing in hydropower: 80% of its energy comes from dams. The remaining energy breakdown is 15% geothermal and a smaller fraction from solar and wind. When necessary, utilities will burn bunker fuel to cover any need not met by renewables. Following intense droughts in 2012 and 2013, 2014 was an unusually wet year, which further increased the country’s hydroelectric capacity. In order to combat increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, the country is investing in even more renewable energy. New hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass power generator plants are all in the works.
Despite the impressive record Costa Rica is setting for power generation, the country still struggles when it comes to transportation. Vehicles contribute 40% of the country’s total carbon emissions and devour 70% of all petroleum consumed in the country. These statistics are mostly due to the popularity of diesel busses and the age of private passenger vehicles. More than half of the cars in Costa Rica are over 20-years-old. The government is investigating building an electric train and has implemented a program incentivizing getting rid of old cars all in an effort to become carbon neutral. In 2010, Costa Rica’s then-President Arias set a carbon-neutral goal for 2021.
Source: The Tico Times