Costa Rica Running on 100% Renewable Energy for Two Months in a Row

By: | September 24th, 2016

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Costa Rica is doing what most countries can’t even dream about. Costa Rica’s electrical grid attained 100% of its energy needs from renewable sources for more than two months in a row.

The Central American nation of about 4.6 million people has relied solely on renewable energy sources for a total of 150 days this year – and counting.

This is the second time in two years that Costa Rica has run for more than two months straight on renewable energy. Last year, the country was also able to run for 75 consecutive days on renewable energy sources.

Costa Rica set a realistic goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2085 which is 64 years later than the 2021 carbon neutrality goal set earlier.

Eighty percent of Costa Rica’s power is supplied by hydroelectric power plants. About 12% of electricity comes from geothermal sources and 7% from wind turbines. Solar power supplies only 0.01% of the country’s electricity needs.

Costa Rica and the United States compared

In comparison, the U.S. gets only about 13% of its power from renewable sources, mainly hydroelectric. The majority of the power comes from burning coal and natural gas.

But the fact is that Costa Rica’s small size has allowed it to switch to renewable energy swiftly

With a population of fewer than 5 million people, Costa Rica is only about half the size of Kentucky, and it has no real heavy industry.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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