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Costa Rica will run on more than 98% renewable energy for fifth consecutive year, government says

The Government of Costa Rica expects the country will generate more than 99% of its energy from renewable resources in 2019.

That means Costa Rica will have run on more than 98% clean energy over five consecutive years, according to data from the National Center for Energy Control (CENCE).

So far in 2019, 98.84% of Costa Rica’s power has come from renewable resources, the government says, “despite the dry conditions that have prevailed in the region.”

In 2019, Costa Rica has generated 67.5% of its energy from hydropower, 17% from wind, 13.5% from geothermal sources and 0.84% ​​from biomass and solar panels. The remaining 1.16% corresponds to backup plants, Casa Presidencial says. 

The numbers do not include the fossil-fuel dependent transportation sector, which is responsible for 66% of hydrocarbon consumption and 54% of carbon dioxide emissions in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica’s decarbonization strategy includes a plan to introduce a modern transportation system in San José that will promote walking and biking, and feature fully electric trains by 2050.

Still, the Costa Rican government says its clean energy generation — which powers more than 1.5 million homes and 225,000 businesses — has saved the country nearly $500 million over the past 20 years over relying on fossil fuels.

Costa Rica has also generated more than $180 million in sales of surplus energy to Central America’s Regional Electricity Market (MER), which has helped power Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

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