Costa Rica Achieves 99% Renewable Energy

 

Costa Rica produces almost all of its power from renewable energy. The state electricity agency has stated that in 2015 the country produced 99% of its energy from renewable sources.

In the first two months of last year, the whole country operated on nothing but renewable energy. In the following months, 97% came from non-fossil fuels. There were 285 days without energy from fossil fuels.

According to the government, 80% of Costa Rica's electricity is produced in hydro-power and geothermal plants. The Central American country profits from heavy rainfall and many rivers, which are the basis for producing electricity. Although last year was very dry, Costa Rica was still able to produce enough hydroelectric power.  Geothermal energy comes from hot spots and active volcanoes which are spread across the country.

In the future, however, Costa Rica wants to become less dependent on water power  and produce more energy from solar and wind power. The tropical country also has a huge biomass potential which it can turn into energy.

The 4.5 million inhabitants of Costa Rica have profited from lower energy prices, because the country  does not have to import that much oil and other fossil fuels. But the transportation sector still depends heavily on fossil fuels. Costa Rica  wants to make transportation free of fossil fuels by electrifying railroads and introducing electric taxis and buses.

 

Through its energy policy Costa Rica has sent a signal to the whole world that switching completely to green energy is achievable if you try.  The government has set an ambitious goal. It wants to become completely independent from fossil fuels by 2021.

 

Hydroelectric power plant in Costa Rica

Costa Rica - Hydroelectric power plant - Image: Equesgo16 

 

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Words

  • according to = as said by ...
  • achievable =  something that can be done
  • agency = organisation
  • although = while
  • ambitious = something that is not easy to do and needs a lot of of trying in order to succeed
  • biomass = material form dead plants and animals that can be used for making energy
  • dependent = need something in order to continue working
  • goal = aim
  • electricity = energy that goes through wires and cables; it gives us light  and heat and is used to operate machines
  • electrify = to make a machine work with electricity
  • fossil fuel = energy that comes from the material of dead animals and plants that lived millions of years ago
  • geothermal = from the heat inside the earth
  • government = the people who run a country
  • green energy = energy that is produced without using fossil fuels
  • heavy = strong
  • hot spot = place on the earth where it is very hot and there is volcanic activity
  • however = but
  • huge = very large
  • hydro power = producing energy from moving water
  • independent = free from
  • inhabitants = the people who live in a country
  • introduce = to start using
  • operate on = here: use
  • plant = here: building that produces electricity
  • policy = plan of action that the government uses
  • renewable = something that is used over and over again and replaces itself naturally
  • solar = from the sun
  • source = where something comes from
  • state = to say officially
  • switch = change to
  • transportation = system of moving people and products