Costa Rica runs on renewables for more than two months

The small Central American country has turned its back on dirty fuel and is harnessing its natural resources to keep the lights on.

creative commons:
creative commons:

The Pirris Hydro-Dam is one of Costa Rica’s three hydroelectric energy producing facilities. In all, the three dams were responsible for 80 percent of the nation’s renewable energy production.

Costa Rica is doing what its neighbours are not, using its climate to generate clean power. 

For 76 consecutive days the Central American country took advantage of rushing water, mountain winds, underground heat and the sun to generate electricity for its population of about five million.

This year alone, Costa Rica has been able to power itself for a total of 150 days from renewable sources, and for the second time in two years, it has been doing so for more than two months.

The National Centre for Energy Control (CENCE) said this was possible mostly through the use of hydroelectric power, using dams to push water through powerful turbines, creating electricity. This accounted for about 80 percent of power generation.

“The last day which we needed to burn for power was back on June 16. Since then, it's been 76 consecutive days in which all electricity has come from plants that use renewable resources,” according to CENCE.

Geothermal plants created about 13 percent of the nation’s power, while wind-turbines created seven percent, and solar panels created 0.01 percent.

Last year, heavy rainfalls helped hydro-generators boost electricity production and spared Costa Rica from burning natural gas, oil, or coal for power.

Costa Rica powered itself with clean energy for 299 days last year. The numbers may seem impressive but its small population and landmass, along with its low power consumption needs, made breaking its dependence on dirty energy easy.

Norway and Sweden are leading the way in Europe, with both producing more than half of their power needs through clean energy sources.

TRTWorld and agencies