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Almost all of Costa Rica’s electricity in 2016 came from renewable sources

3rd Jan 2017
Written by: Dave Owen


Costa Rica’s electricity in 2016 was produced almost entirely from renewable sources.

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said that around 98.1% of the country’s electricity was produced by green sources.

Carbon-free electricity was used for over 250 days out of the year, including an unbroken 110-day streak between June 17 and October 6. Fossil fuel plants were used periodically after that.

Costa Rica frog

The achievement helps maintain Costa Rica’s reputation as something of an eco-paradise; the country is home to 5% of the world’s species biodiversity while having a landmass of only 0.03% of the planet’s surface.

The figure for 2016 is actually down on 2015, where 98.9% of energy was renewable.

Much of the energy is produced by hydropower facilities fed by rain and rivers, as well as solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal plants.

To put this into perspective, less than 15% of the USA’s electricity between January and October 2016 came from renewable sources, according to the US Energy Information Administration, with some two-thirds coming from coal and natural gas. 

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