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Gallucci writes: "The Central American nation ran entirely on renewable energy for more than 250 days last year, the country's power operator announced."

Costa Rica ran almost entirely on renewable energy in 2016. (photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Costa Rica ran almost entirely on renewable energy in 2016. (photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Costa Rica Ran Almost Entirely on Renewable Energy in 2016

By Maria Gallucci, Yahoo! News

02 January 17


osta Rica ended 2016 on a particularly green note.

The Central American nation ran entirely on renewable energy for more than 250 days last year, the country's power operator announced. 

Renewables supplied about 98.1 percent of Costa Rica's electricity for the year, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said in mid-December. Fossil fuels provided the remaining 1.9 percent.

The country of 4.9 million people gets most of its electricity from large hydropower facilities, which are fed by multiple rivers and heavy seasonal rains.

Geothermal plants and wind turbines are also prominent sources of power, while biomass and solar power provide a tiny but growing share of electricity. 

A few diesel-burning power plants round out the electricity mix, but Costa Rica has barely used them in the last two years.

The country enjoyed a 110-day stretch of carbon-free electricity from June 17 through Oct. 6, when the power company briefly turned on its fossil fuel plants. After that blip, Costa Rica resumed its run of consecutive, fossil fuel-free days, a spokesman for ICE told Mashable on Dec. 13.

In 2015, Costa Rica used 98.9 percent renewable energy, slightly more than 2016's expected total.

Compared to larger, more industrialized countries, Costa Rica seems like a verdant gem amid a pile of black coal rocks.

But Costa Rica's smaller economy and natural resources give it an advantage over an energy-hungry powerhouse like the United States.

Costa Rica's population, for instance, is roughly 65 times smaller than the U.S.'s. It also generates about 373 times less electricity than the United States does, according to national energy data from both countries.

Given its huge energy appetite, the U.S. faces a bigger challenge in greening the electric grid.

Nearly 15 percent of the U.S. electricity supply for January-October 2016 came from hydropower, wind, solar and other renewable sources, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported on Dec. 23.

Coal and natural gas together accounted for nearly two-thirds of U.S. electricity generation over that period. Nuclear power provided the remaining 19 percent.

For Costa Rica, the clean energy success story is likely to continue into 2017.

ICE's president Carlos Manuel Obregón said the power company expects renewable power generation to stay "stable" this year, thanks in part to the nation's four new wind farms and favorable hydro-meteorological conditions, which are projected near the nation's hydropower plants. your social media marketing partner


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+20 # DongiC 2017-01-02 14:42
Kudos to Costa Rica for going green. We need more countries like this one on planet Earth.
+13 # ReconFire 2017-01-02 15:20
Agree. With the cost of solar now equal to fossil fuels, there's no reason we can't strive for this also....well except profits.
+5 # Capn Canard 2017-01-03 06:39
Germany is making a serious effort. Germany. For fuggssakes, Germany! A country at a more northern latitude than most of 'Murica.

Our Wealthy Lords behave like common criminals just begging for the services of Madame guillotine.
-11 # Valerie 2017-01-03 02:36
Hi guys! Do you want passion and hot kisses? But you're in love with your freedom? Come for an avalanche of emotions for one night
+2 # Capn Canard 2017-01-03 06:58
So your name is Valerie, eh? How cute, but I must admit I suspect your name is much more likely to be Todd, Randy, or Joel.

Given that, I would guess that you are still trying(in vain?) to become and to act like a man. However, go ahead, you may choke the bantam chicken or punish the pope or the one eyed wonder worm while imagining that you are with a beautiful woman...but since you only have your sister's guinea pig or a stray dog, your success will be limited.

Don't despair, someday you may actually learn how to talk to a woman.

Hang in there little fella
+1 # Capn Canard 2017-01-03 06:36
The veil has been lifted. The energy monopoly of fossil fuels is being replaced and soon will be eliminated, though not quickly enough. I suspect that we will limp through several more years before it becomes clear just how deep the lies have penetrated our consciousness.
+5 # Glen 2017-01-03 07:56
Having been to Costa Rica twice and witnessing their energy systems, this report comes as no surprise. The array of wind turbines around Lake Arenal are actually quite beautiful. Taking a shower in water heated by on-demand heaters was the first I'd seen of those heaters.

Citizen response to conservation was also notable in most places. Drivers would even stop to allow a snake to cross the road, beaches kept clean, and resorts limited the height of all building, creating more of a village than condos. Would like very much to visit there again.

This is not to say the entire country is perfect, but they are trying.
+6 # uuzul 2017-01-03 11:34
I went to high school in Costa Rica (1956-59) It was then struggling to get out from under the domination of the Church and the US. But they did, by investing in health care, ecology and education. While I was there, Eisenhower offered the country an old battleship! CR turned it down flat. Although it has since been moved, originally in front of the American embassy was a big statue (placed there on purpose) of a rogue US Marine who led a small band of mercenaries from Nicaragua into CR back about 1949. He was caught by the CR army (just before the Army was disbanded) and beheaded. THAT was the statue in front of the US embassy, of an American being beheaded! Yes, CR has no army - only police officers and park rangers. They have one of the best health care systems in the world now and their literacy rate is somewhere around 98%. Yet many of their populace still live in the jungle or on 'fincas' (farms). See, you can be educated and wise and live on the land. While there in 1993, I watched the rangers come to a village and teach ... BABY CARE for new moms! On one trip through the jungle, my guide and I, in a boat, naturally, were stopped midstream by a swimming jaguar. He came right up to the edge of the small boat and looked over the prow at us, and fearlessly dismissed us and swam on to climb out the nearby shore. I was so shocked I didn't get a photo. The guide laughed and said, "No, that visit was just for you to remember, no one else." As I said -- WISE PEOPLE.
+1 # Dale 2017-01-04 10:11
Costa Rica, where family and I have now lived for 16 years offers what they term here "la pura vida." For those planning to escape Trumpist neo-fascim in the U.S., come to the country with no army. A real estate website is

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