Earlier this year, we reported that the countries of Portugal and Germany had set new records by generating electricity using renewable resources, with Portugal running on 100 percent renewables for four-and-a-half days, and Germany reaching 95 percent over the duration of May 8, 2016. But a much bigger achievement made the previous year by Costa Rica went largely unnoticed, where electricity was generated for nearly the entire year of 2015 on renewable resources alone.
From January 1 through December 17 2015, a total of 350 days, Costa Rica’s energy production was run entirely on renewable energy sources, chiefly using their abundant hydroelectric and emerging geothermal sources. The Central American country has a fortuitous combination of heavy rainfall and steep mountains, allowing for a great deal of energy to be drawn from their waterways. Costa Rica is also home to a number of active volcanoes, allowing ready access to the heat generated from the Earth. Biomass, wind and solar power also contributed to the country’s energy production.
The culture of Costa Rica is extremely eco-conscious, hosting a large number of varied climate zones within the small country, with both their agricultural and eco-tourism industries contributing to a major part of the economy. The Costa Rican government introduced a nation-wide renewable energy strategy in 1995, and is now the country’s ticos y ticas appear to be reaping the benefits of that foresight.