76 Days, No Fossil Fuels: Costa Rica Has Been Running on Renewables for Over Two Months

This island is leading the way in renewable energy.

9. 7. 16 by Dom Galeon
Futurism/LPM
Image by Futurism/LPM

Not the First Time

Last year, Costa Rica powered itself purely with renewable energy for 299 days total. This year, they already hit a total of 150 days — and counting!

It was last 16 June 2016 when the government said goodbye to fossil fuels (again), according to the National Center for Energy Control (CENCE). Since then, the country ran on 100 percent renewable energy for 76 days.

Costa Rica deserves a clean (or green) bill of health! This Latin American country has proven, yet again, that it is possible to run on a mix of various sources of renewable energy.

Bulking up on Renewables

Of course, the country’s relatively small size helped, with the seasonal heavy rainfalls. But so did the four hydroelectric power facilities, which accounted for 80.27 % of the country’s total electricity last August. Geothermal plants that contributed roughly 12.62 %. Plus the wind turbines, with 7.1 %. Not to mention good ol’sunshine lending a hand with 0.01 %.

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While it can be said that Costa Rica’s situation contributed to the ease with which the country transitions from fossil fuels to clean renewable energy, it did not lack in the effort and infrastructure to further the cause.

The Revantazón Project. Credits: ICE

In fact, the Latin American country is geared to pump up more renewable energy. A massive hydroelectric power plant is about to be completed — a project called Revantazón, under the Costa Rica Electricity Institute (ICE). Zach Dyer of The Tico Times reports that, with five turbines being built, the Revantazón project “will have a generating capacity of 305.5 MW, enough for an estimated 525,000 homes.” 

It is the largest hydroelectric project in the region since the Panama Canal. 


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