Costa Rica announced it has been powered by renewable energy for 300 days, also reaching its highest percentage in three decades with 99.62 percent this year, a source told EFE.
The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said that between January 1 and November 17 – 300 days – the country has generated electricity from renewable sources, accounting for 99.62 percent of its output.
These numbers indicate that since May 1 the ICE, which controls Costa Rica’s electricity monopoly, has not turned to its thermal backup (fuel-powered plants) to generate electricity.
Moreover, 78.26 percent of its electricity came from hydroelectric plants in 2017, 10.29 percent from wind farms, 10.23 percent from geothermal power plants, and 0.84 percent from biomass and solar. Only 0.38 percent corresponds to fossil fuel plants.
Costa Rica on the path towards renewables
If we take that data to gigawatts-hour, hydroelectric power plants have generated an overall 7,719.54 GWh, wind farms 1,014.82 GWh, geothermal power plants 1,009.28 GWh, biomass and solar 83.19 GWh, and fossil fuels 37.34 GWh.
“Optimizing the energy mix has enabled us to utilize water availability. Regulatory reservoirs offer a guarantee to maximize the use of variable sources and at the same time ration the contributions of geothermal energy,” ICE president Carlos Obregón explained.
Similarly, data from ICE’s National Electrical System (SEN) indicates that in 2015 there were 299 days of fully renewable production, then 271 days in 2016, and 300 in 2017, just six weeks from the end of the year.
As a result, Costa Rica has generated 99.62 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and is expected to continue along this path until the first quarter of 2018.