Powering a country on renewable sources is possible. The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) announced that the country achieved “99 percent renewable electricity generation” this past year. For 285 days of the year, the country’s grids were powered completely by renewable resources.
A majority of renewable electricity generation comes from hydroelectric plants, which takes advantage of natural features of the country, like its network of rivers and typically heavy tropical rainfall. The remainder is supplied by geothermal, wind, solar and biomass sources. Despite the year being drier than expected, ICE noted that the country was ahead of its renewable-energy targets, which was set at just over ninety-seven percent at the beginning of the year.
The country has no plans to stop its movement towards renewable energy – a new $2.3B hydroelectric plant is scheduled to be activated in 2016. At a time where reducing carbon emissions has never been more focused upon globally, the small Central American country is becoming an aspirational figure to other nations as it continues to move away from fossil fuels.
Though the move was done partly out of necessity – its main oil supplier, Venezuela, went bankrupt – being able to move to renewable energy sources is admirable on its own.
Luis Pacheco, the ICE electricity division chief, was happy to report that “[w]e are closing 2015 with renewable electricity milestones that have put us in the global spotlight.” The focus on renewable electricity generation has set waves off across the globe, as other countries, states and cities work towards becoming less reliant on fossil fuels and increase their renewable energy sources.