Costa Rica, known primarily as a honeymoon destination, is a veritable paradise. Not only is it full of picturesque scenes featuring white sand beaches, and crystal clear waters, but you’re pretty much-guaranteed sunshine all year round. And boy is it atmospheric – jam-packed with misty jungles, mind-boggling wildlife and active volcanoes.
However, it’s not just a hotspot for newlyweds or keen surfers either, the popular travel destination has also set its sights on saving the world, via its advances with renewable energy. Back in 2015, it managed to generate 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy sources for 299 days, and in 2016, it ran for 271 days on everything but fossil fuels.
Now, it appears that Costa Rica has done it again. The small country has purportedly run for a whopping 300 days solely on a mixture of hydro, geothermal, wind, biomass and solar energy.
For a small, developing country, Costa Rica is really putting the world’s powerhouses to shame with its commitment to clean energy.
According to a recent report from the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity, the nation has just bested its 2015 achievement and has run for 300 days solely on renewable energy sources. And with just six weeks of 2017 left to go, it looks like that number is only going to increase.
Executive president of the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity, Carlos Manuel Obregón, explained that they were able to reach this impressive feat through improvements to the grid and upgrading clean energy power plants. And it comes at a good time too; the record goes hand-in-hand with the Costa Rican government’s plan to be carbon neutral by the year 2021, a deadline which was set up over a decade ago.
However, we can’t get too carried away by this news. As Costa Rica is a small country, it’s much easier for it achieves these lofty goals, than say, countries like China and the USA, which are larger in size. And furthermore, it’s aided by its natural resources, namely hydropower and geothermal sources, which many western nations don’t have access to.
It’s also worthwhile to note that Costa Rica was one of the few countries which had the prescience to refrain from investing in fossil fuels in the first place.
Ultimately, while it would a great accomplishment if Costa Rica was to go completely fossil free, on a broader level, the impact would be rather insignificant. For example, the country currently produced 1,2141 times fewer greenhouse gases than China, making its contribution to fighting global warming relatively paltry.
What Costa Rica does prove, however, is that going coal-free isn’t as impossible as other, more developed nations seem to believe. And their example just goes to show that clean energy works as well as the energy derived from fossil fuels.
In any case, they certainly deserve all the praise that they have been receiving.