According to the National Energy Control Center (CENCE) of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), Costa Rica could generate 98.53% of its electricity in 2022 using five renewable sources over the last four years. Those sources are:
The potential for increased economic activity – following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic – will allow for a moderate increase in electricity demand.
Electricity consumption in Costa Rica is estimated to grow 0.36% in 2022 compared to 2021, which reached about 11,564 gigawatt hours (GWh).
In 2019, Costa Rica 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.
In 2021, rainfall in Costa Rica was above average, which allowed a record number of exports to the MER (Regional Electricity Market), with more than 1,000 GWh sold. Also, the SEN ( National Electric System) had the lowest use of thermal backup in 65 years.
“In 2022 we will have limited access to the Regional Electricity Market (MER) for importing, due to a more intense dry season faced by the region and international conditions for purchasing inputs. Therefore, its important to have national support in order to guarantee supply at the most economical cost and to meet the needs of all sectors of the country,” said Salvador Lopez, director of CENCE.
In 2022, the level of the Arenal reservoir looks to be within what is expected even with flows below the historical average. The Arenal Reservoir is Costa Rica’s main body of water for hydroelectric generation, with multi-year storage capacity and is essential to the national security reserve.