Costa Rica’s electrical power grid has run on 100% renewable energy for 76 straight days during July and August—adding to a total of 150 days this year the Central American nation has not needed energy from fossil fuels.
While using a mix of solar, hydro, wind, and geothermal energy, the overwhelming majority of Costa Rica’s renewable energy—80%—has been from hydropower. That’s not surprising considering it has four main hydropower plants, many rivers, and lots of rain. In fact, the abundant rainfall Costa Rica has seen this year has certainly helped it reach its milestone.
Granted, Costa Rica is about half the size of Kentucky and uses a relatively small amount of electricity compared to other nations like the U.S. Plus, its main industries are tourism and agriculture, without the need of intensive amounts of power for manufacturing plants and the like.
Still…to operate sans traditional fuels for this long is really impressive. And it’s imperative that not only more countries adopt alternative, renewable fuels—but that they adopt energy sources that make the most sense for their particular geography and needs. Fossil fuels have been used as this “one size fits all” energy solution for far too long, and it doesn’t work for every nation.
Keep your eyes open for more heavy alternative energy development in the future in Central America, the Caribbean. In 2014, 1.7 billion USD was invested in renewable energy for Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and Panama; for Mexico alone that year, the total was 2 billon. Obviously, somebody thinks this is a good idea.
Though certainly, given the amount of wars and other situations that have broke out globally over traditional energy sources, it’s also a political game-changer.