Costa Rica is setting the bar high for renewable energy use with its new record of 300 days.
The Central American country has managed to run on renewable energy for 300 days so far this year, beating its previous records of 299 days in 2015 and 271 days in 2016.
The Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) claims that the country has run exclusively off of power that has been generated by five different renewable energy sources. These sources are hydropower, wind, geothermal, biomass and solar.
Hydropower contributes the largest portion of Costa Rica’s energy as the country sees a large volume of rain annually. The reliability of the rain – due to the presence of the rainforest – drives hydropower generation and allows Costa Rica to become more and more dependent on renewables.
Yet, hydropower is just one cog in Costa Rica’s renewable power generation machine. It is predicted that 2017 is going to be a good year for wind production in the country. Indeed, it could well be the year Costa Rica produces the most ever wind power. Currently there are sixteen wind farms across the country, which are producing a cumulative total of 1,014.82 gigawatt hours.
With each of these renewable sources doing their bit, it is likely that Costa Rica could actually go beyond their 300 day mark before the end of the year.
But, this isn’t the only step Costa Rica is taking to improve the country’s sustainability. Their commitment also includes an ambitious but promising target of becoming completely carbon neutral by 2021. This would be an incredible achievement for the country, particularly in light of the recent, revamped drive towards environmental sustainability and clean energy from global leaders.
Costa Rica’s other goal is to completely eliminate the use of single-use plastics. Finally, the nation has made it clear they are going to work on expanding their forest cover.
Costa Rica is home to huge swathes of tropical rainforest, which are in danger of rapid deforestation among other threats. It is therefore pivotal that the country puts in a serious effort to protect its natural habitats and conserve its staggering biodiversity.
All that remains to be seen now is how Costa Rica will fare for the rest of the year and whether or not the country can maintain its excellent record for years to come. Whatever the outcome, Costa Rica is pioneering the way to 100% dependence on renewables and is setting a good example for other countries to follow suit.