Costa Rica will get almost all of its power from renewable energy sources for the fifth year in a row.
Nobody is sticking it to climate change like Costa Rica. Currently, the country’s entire electrical grid is generated from 98.84% renewable energy sources. By the end of the year, they expect that number to be over 99%.
Think about that. Costa Rica is a country of 5 million people and they’ve figured out how to get away from using hydrocarbons. That’d be like if half of Chicago just got rid of all their coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants all at once (which is really more like half of Illinois, but let’s not quibble over the details).
Costa Rica’s power mix includes 67.5% hydropower (which includes hydroelectric dams and tidal-wave plants), 17% wind power, 13.5% geothermal power, and 0.84% from biomass and solar panels. The remaining 1.15% comes from backup hydrocarbon plants which only get switched on when demand spikes to its highest.
This is enough to power 1.5 million homes and 225,000 businesses. Granted, Costa Rica is also one of the most pleasant places to live in terms of weather, with an average temperature between 12 and 27 degrees C (53 to 80 degrees F), but still, this is an accomplishment. Costa Rica is setting an example for the rest of the world.
However, Costa Rica's total carbon emissions also include the transportation sector which emits just over half of the countries CO2, according to the Tico Times. But Costa Rica has plans there too! By 2050, the tiny Central-American country plans to have a fully-electric train system and plans to encourage biking and walking paths over the next few decades.
Best of all, Costa Rica estimates they've actually saved $500 million over the past 20 years by switching from fossil fuels. Now, they're actually making money by selling excess supply to their neighbors, including Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.
So the next time somebody tells you switching to green energy is just too expensive, point them to Costa Rica. It actually makes money in the long run.
(source: Tico Times)