Costa Rica has taken an extraordinary step in the history of green energy, This country has been operating only with renewable energies for almost 3 months. Heavy rains in the region have allowed the country to forgo fossil fuels altogether and get almost all of the electricity produced by four hydropower plants – with some additional help from geothermal, solar and wind projects. With a little more investment, this trend can be maintained over time.
The National Electricity Institute of Costa Rica (ICE) announced the news, specifically noting that did not have to rely on energy produced by fossil fuels throughout 2015. Costa Rica has a small population of just 4.8 million, abundant rainfall to power its four hydropower plants, and a multitude of volcanoes for geothermal facilities.
Diversification is also important. While hydropower plants produced 80% of Costa Rica’s energy in 2014There is no shortage of detractors of this form of electricity production, so it affects the ecosystems where they are installed.
Around 10% of energy was produced by geothermal power plants in 2014, and the government approved a $ 958 million geothermal project for this year. Funded largely by loans from European and Japanese banks, the project consists of three installations that will provide an additional 150 MW of green power.
All this leads to Costa Rica will be completely carbon neutral by 2021, and thus not to touch the oil deposits which are located along its coast. This is an extraordinary effort for a small nation, and it has been largely possible because Costa Rica has not had an army since 1948, which frees up large resources to finance renewable energy infrastructure.
Other small countries like Sweden, Bulgaria and Estonia have reached their renewable energy targets set for 2020. Denmark derives 40% of its energy demand from wind power and plans to get rid of fossil fuels by 2050.