As three of the world’s biggest insurers called on G20 leaders to implement a timeframe for the end of fossil fuel subsidies when they met in China, Costa Rica led the way.
In 2009, President Arias declared a goal of making Costa Rica the world’s first carbon neutral country, reducing net global warming emissions to zero.
With a 113-day stretch of 100-percent renewable energy under its belt and several months left in the year, Costa Rica is edging closer to its target. Costa Rica could be on track to match the record set with its renewable energy production last year, which accounted for 99 percent of the country’s electricity. That included 285 days powered completely by renewable sources, according to the Costa Rican Electricity Institute. Related: Costa Rica achieved 99-percent renewable energy use in 2015
Costa Rica is able to take advantage of a multitude of renewable energy sources because of its unique climate and terrain. Most of the nation’s renewable energy comes from hydropower, due to its large river system and heavy tropical rainfalls. Solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal energy also play key roles.
The tropical nation aims to be free from fossil fuels in just five years. With hefty investments in geothermal energy projects and a forecast for more heavy rains in the coming years, that goal could be accomplished even sooner than originally planned.
In 2015 Costa Rica achieved 99% renewable energy
Costa Rica’s lush jungles and waterfalls make hydropower one of the most accessible natural energy resources in the country, yet geothermal plants are catching up quickly, and officials hope to continue to build this and other industries. A statement from earlier this month boasted 100% renewable energy use for 285 days this year. Albeit a truly impressive achievement, the country’s goal is still 100 percent independence from fossil fuels all year.
Wind, biomass, and solar power are also viable alternative energy sources. With the focus shifting toward addressing fossil fuel used in the transportation sector, the country hopes to hit its goal of being carbon-neutral by 2021. Costa Rican citizens seem to be behind the measures, especially as they have seen energy costs drop 12% over the last year, with future projections dropping even more.