While heavy rainfall may not be to everyone’s taste, it has greatly benefited Costa Rica in the first part of this year. The country has created a record by using 100% renewable energy for seventy five days in a row. No fossil fuels have been burnt in the country since December 2014, thanks to energy produced by four state-run hydroelectric plants.
During the past year, eighty percent of Costa Rica’s power came from hydroelectric sources, supplemented by another ten percent from geothermal energy, meaning this small country is a world leader in renewable energy. The country is home to approx 4.8 million people and an impressive 94% of their power needs are met by renewable energy.
The Costa Rican government has plans to build more geothermal projects over the coming few years, with a US$958 million plant approved in mid-2014. This first plant will produce around 55 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 55,000 homes. Two more 50 megawatt plants will also be built in the near future and wind, solar and biomass projects are being built as well. The country is aiming to be carbon-neutral by 2021.
Developing other forms of renewable energy avoids an over-reliance on hydroelectric, which can be disrupted by changes in weather and water flow as well as having environmental impacts on river banks and fish.
But this is a pretty amazing milestone. Other countries should take note.Source: The Independent
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