Over the past several years, Costa Rica has generated the vast majority of its electricity from renewable sources, including geothermal power.
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Japan has agreed to loan Costa Rica $224 million to finance part of the construction of a geothermal project in Liberia, Guanacaste.
Despite declarations from the executive branch that the Costa Rican government will not pursue geothermal electricity development in national parks, the office of governing Citizen Action Party legislator Ottón Solís is working on a bill to allow it in three volcanic protected areas.
Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís attended the signing ceremony, saying the planned geothermal projects “will not interfere with territory in national parks.” Instead, he said they involve “new technologies that permit the exploration and utilization of wells without damaging conservation areas.”
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A delegation led by President Luis Guillermo Solís on Monday will meet with representatives of the Japanese government to sign a $550 million loan to finance the construction of three geothermal power plants in the northwestern province of Guanacaste.
Geothermal energy, the productive use of the vast quantity of thermal energy within Earth's crust, is one of the few renewable, low-carbon emission energy sources that can consistently generate power 24-hours a day, irrespective of the season.
A $560 million loan over the next 40 years will hopefully bring Costa Rica closer to its goal to generate 95 percent of its electricity with renewable resources.
Lawmaker José María Villalta, a member of the legislative Energy and Environment Commission, called for a national discussion on the geothermal energy issue.
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