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Costa Rica’s electric grid powered by 98% renewable energy for 7th straight year

The Costa Rican government expects the country will generate more than 98% of its electric energy from renewable resources in 2021.

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

“Once again, Costa Rica is positioned as an example before the world, using clean energy as the basis of the national electricity matrix,” said President Carlos Alvarado.

So far in 2021, 99.98% of Costa Rica’s electric power has come from renewable sources.

Costa Rica has generated 73.39% of its energy from hydropower, 13.84% from geothermal sources, 12.12% from wind and 0.63% ​​from biomass and solar panels. 

“Our electricity matrix is the result of more than 70 years of implementing sustainability and solidarity policies, which promote energy development along with the preservation and recovery of the environment,” said Irene Cañas, president of the Electricity Institute (ICE).

These 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 compared to relying on fossil fuels.

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