Costa Rica has only run on renewable energy this year

Costa Rica, a Central American country with a population of 4.8 million, has been running solely on renewable energy so far this year.  

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute has said that due to heavy rainfall in the first three months of 2015, the country has been able to get by just on energy provided by its four hydroelectric plants. 

Last year 80% of Costa Rica’s energy came from hydropower, while 10% came from geothermal energy, thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. 

The Costa Rican government announced in 2007 that the country would aim to be the World’s first carbon neutral country by 2021.  

Last year the government approved a $960m geothermal development, funded mainly by the European Investment Bank and Japan. 

The Cachi Hydroelectric Plant in the Orosí Valley of Cartago Province, central Costa Rica (Wikimedia Commons)

The World Economic Forum has ranked Costa Rica second in Latin America for its electricity and telecommunications infrastructure in the 2014 Global Competitiveness Index.  

Costa Rica covers an area of 51,000 square kilometres and does not have a large manufacturing or mining industry, which would drain more energy. 

The country has also decided not to exploit the oil reserves along its coast due to environmental opposition.

Image: The Arenal Volcano, which is used for geothermic power. The Arenal Lake reservoir produces 12% of the country’s hydroelectric power (Wikimedia Commons)

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