99% of Costa Rica’s Electricity Came from Renewable Energy in 2015

December 28, 2015   |   Jake Anderson

Jake Anderson
December 28, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) Earlier this year, Anti-Media reported on Costa Rica’s efforts to become independent of fossil fuels and power itself entirely from renewable energy. The country’s plans included utilizing the region’s plentiful rainfall to power impressive new hydroelectric infrastructure. They also planned to use geothermal sources, wind, biomass, and solar energy.

A new year-end report by Treehugger.com confirms Costa Rica achieved an incredible 99 percent renewable energy production rate in 2015. In fact, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the country’s publicly-owned electricity provider, issued a statement claiming the nation was completely fossil fuel-free for an astounding 285 days of the year.

Costa Rica reached the 99 percent renewable energy mark with the aforementioned mixture of hydroelectric plants, which provide 80 percent of the country’s energy, with wind, biomass, and solar power. The country’s large river system and heavy rainfall also aided the efforts, in spite of the fact 2015 was a particularly dry year.

Costa Rica still has huge goals beyond just aiming for a 100 percent carbon neutral status by the year 2021. Ultimately, according to ICE, Costa Rica wants to shift its transportation industry away from fossil fuels, and officials also want to add new geothermal sources, which currently provide 15 percent of the nation’s energy.

ICE electricity division chief, Luis Pacheco, said,

“[Costa Rica is] closing 2015 with renewable electricity milestones that have put us in the global spotlight.”

He predicted an even more renewable-friendly 2016, as rainfall will likely be heavier and a new $2.3 billion hydroelectric plant will come online.

Like Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil, and many other Latin American countries, Costa Rica continues to lead the way in hydroelectric and renewable energy. Elsewhere, countries like Denmark, Sweden, Scotland, and Finland are showing a wide variety of strategies can be employed to wean industrialized nations off fossil fuels, which continue to pollute the environment with carbon emissions and waste.


This article (99% of Costa Rica’s Electricity Came from Renewable Energy in 2015) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Jake Anderson and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.

Author: Jake Anderson

Jake Anderson joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in April of 2015. His topics of interest include social justice, science, corporatocracy, and dystopian science fiction. He currently resides in Escondido, California.

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6 Comments

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  2. So there were no fossil fuels used in manufacturing the cement and steel in th e hydroelectric dams, the various metals used in wind turbines and solar panels, or in transport and other ancilliary tasks involved in generation and distribution?
    As many others have said, much of the hype about green energy overlooks the fact that in many cases CO2 emissions are moved away from the point of generation.

    Check out how many tons of rock have to be mined, superheated (several times) and washed with water containing highly toxic chemicals such as arsenic and cyanide to recover the few grammes of gold and rare earth metal used in a commercial wind turbine. http://www.greenteethmm.com/rare-earth.shtml

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  3. G­­o­­­o­­­g­­l­­e­­­ i­­s­­ <­­-p­­a­­y­­i­­n­­g­­ 9­­7­­$ p­­e­­r h­­o­­u­­r! ­­W­­o­­r­­k ­­f­­­­o­­r ­­f­­­­e­­­­w­­ h­­­­o­­u­­r­­s ­­a­­n­­d h­­a­­v­­e l­­o­­n­­g­­e­­r w­­i­­t­­h­­ f­­­­r­­i­­e­­n­­d­­s & ­­f­­a­­m­­i­­l­­y­­! ­­O­­n ­­t­­u­­e­­s­­d­­a­­y I g­­o­­t a­­ g­­r­­e­­a­­t ­­n­­e­­w­­ L­­a­­n­­d­­ R­­o­­v­­e­­r ­­R­­a­­n­­g­­e ­­R­­o­­v­­e­­r­­ f­­r­­o­­m h­­a­­v­­i­­n­­g e­­a­­r­­n­­e­­d­­ $­­8­­7­­2 t­­h­­i­­s l­­a­­s­­t­­ f­­o­­u­­r­­ w­­e­­­­e­­k­­s. I­­t­­s­­ t­­h­­e­­ m­­o­­s­­t-­­f­­i­­n­­a­­n­­c­­i­­a­­l­­y­­ r­­e­­w­­a­­r­­d­­i­­n­­g ­­I­­'­­v­­e ­­h­­a­­d­­.­­ I­­t­­ s­­o­­u­­n­­d­­s­­ u­­n­­b­­e­­l­­i­­e­­v­­a­­b­­l­­e­­ b­­u­­t ­­y­­o­­u w­­o­­n­­t f­­o­­r­­g­­i­­v­­e ­­y­­o­­u­­r­­s­­e­­l­­f i­­f ­­y­­o­­u ­­d­­o­­n­­’­­t­­ c­­h­­e­­c­­k i­­t­­…

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  4. G­­o­­­o­­­g­­l­­e­­­ i­­s­­ <­­-p­­a­­y­­i­­n­­g­­ 9­­7­­$ p­­e­­r h­­o­­u­­r! ­­W­­o­­r­­k ­­f­­­­o­­r ­­f­­­­e­­­­w­­ h­­­­o­­u­­r­­s ­­a­­n­­d h­­a­­v­­e l­­o­­n­­g­­e­­r w­­i­­t­­h­­ f­­­­r­­i­­e­­n­­d­­s & ­­f­­a­­m­­i­­l­­y­­! ­­O­­n ­­t­­u­­e­­s­­d­­a­­y I g­­o­­t a­­ g­­r­­e­­a­­t ­­n­­e­­w­­ L­­a­­n­­d­­ R­­o­­v­­e­­r ­­R­­a­­n­­g­­e ­­R­­o­­v­­e­­r­­ f­­r­­o­­m h­­a­­v­­i­­n­­g e­­a­­r­­n­­e­­d­­ $­­8­­7­­2 t­­h­­i­­s ­­l­­a­­s­­t­­ f­­o­­u­­r­­ w­­e­­­­e­­k­­s. I­­t­­s­­ t­­h­­e­­ m­­o­­s­­t-­­f­­i­­n­­a­­n­­c­­i­­a­­l­­y­­ r­­e­­w­­a­­r­­d­­i­­n­­g ­­I­­'­­v­­e ­­h­­a­­d­­.­­ I­­t­­ s­­o­­u­­n­­d­­s­­ u­­n­­b­­e­­l­­i­­e­­v­­a­­b­­l­­e­­ b­­u­­t ­­y­­o­­u w­­o­­n­­t f­­o­­r­­g­­i­­v­­e ­­y­­o­­u­­r­­s­­e­­l­­f i­­f ­­y­­o­­u ­­d­­o­­n­­’­­t­­ c­­h­­e­­c­­k i­­t­­… …

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  5. I believe this refers to the generation of energy, not the manufacturing of related infrastructure, which is to say that the country would 99% renewable in its energy production, but not necessarily as a society. And yes, I believe you are correct in noting the complications inherent in all related technologies. But keep in mind that CO2 emissions are far and away the primary driver of climate change and industrial waste. Eliminating them is a profoundly important start, provided people are not ignoring the issues you bring up. I think the most important issue is showing that alternative energy models are possible. Thanks for reading and engaging.

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  6. I understand the argument, but I have to agree with mr Anderson on the production aspect. This is significant as a comparative measure since renewable energy goals seem to refer to energy generation in every other country as well, at least I hadn't heard of such goals for infrastructure and materials production in other areas. I do wonder about transportation, though, cause gee they sure don't mention that here. I am rather surprised, regardless, hadn't been paying attention to Costa Rica! I do wonder if they're sneaking in some dirty combustion under the reporting radar somewhere.

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