Costa Rica Achieves 99% Renewable Energy
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.
Costa Rica - Hydroelectric power plant - Image: Equesgo16
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- 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
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