Costa Rica ended 2016 especially green. This beautiful Central American country ran 100% with renewable energy more than 250 days last year. The different renewable energies used in the country supplied 98.1% of the electricity consumed in Costa Rica in 2016, according to data from the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE). Fossil fuels provided the remaining 1.9%.
The country of 4.9 million people receives most of its electricity from large hydroelectric plants, thanks to its many rivers and seasonal rains.
Geothermal plants and wind turbines are also important sources of power, while biomass and solar energy provide a small but growing share of electricity.
A few thermoelectric plants complete the electricity mix, but Costa Rica has hardly used them in the last two years.
The country enjoyed 113 straight days pollution-free, from June 17 to October 6, when they had to briefly fire up their fossil fuel plants. After that slump, Costa Rica resumed its fossil fuel-free operation, the ICE spokesperson said.
In 2015, Costa Rica was supplied by 98.82% from renewable energies, slightly higher than 2016.
Compared to the more industrialized, larger countries, Costa Rica appears as a green jewel in the middle of a pile of black coal stones.
But Costa Rica’s small economy and its natural resources give it an advantage over energy powers, such as the United States.
The population of Costa Rica, for example, is approximately 65 times smaller than that of the United States. It also generates approximately 373 times less electricity than the United States. What makes its management easier.
Nearly 15% of America’s electricity between January and October 2016 was hydroelectric, wind, solar, and other renewable sources.
Coal and natural gas together accounted for nearly two-thirds of America’s electricity generation during that period. Nuclear power provides the remaining 19%.
But Costa Rica is in another world, its idyll with clean energy continues in 2017.