Future of the Environment

Costa Rica has run on green energy for 300 days

Wind turbines are pictured at a wind farm in Penonome, Cocle province, Panama, November 10, 2015. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton attended the opening of the new wind farm that is part of his Clinton Foundation Project in Latin America. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso - GF20000053813

This year, Costa Rica's renewable energy was split between different sources. Image: REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Aimee Lutkin
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Future of the Environment

In addition to being a gorgeous tropical paradise and beloved tourist destination, Costa Rica is putting itself on the map with huge steps towards becoming as environmentally conscious as possible.

The country has been working to grow its forest cover, it has banned single use plastic, and as of now, they've run almost entirely on renewable energy for 300 days.

EcoWatch reports that the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) is celebrating their accomplishment, citing numbers provided by the National Center for Energy Control which say that things have been operating on almost 100 percent renewable power.

This isn't the first time Costa Rica has sustained a renewable energy streak. In 2015, they went 299 days, and in 2016 they did slightly less at 271. They've beaten both accomplishments and could easily go further before the end of 2017.

This year, Costa Rica's renewable energy was split between different sources. Hydropower provided 78.26 percent of electricity, wind gave an estimated 10.29 percent, and 10.23 percent came from geothermal energy. Just 0.84 percent came combined from biomass and solar power. 

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ICE noted that 2017 may see growth in one of those sectors—wind.

The country's 16 wind farms produced 1,014.82 gigawatt hours, which is a big growth in that sector. Costa Rica's commitment to renewable energy is paying off in practice, and showing the potential in clean energy sources everywhere.

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Future of the EnvironmentEnergy Transition
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