Costa Rica Hasn’t Burned a Fossil Fuel in Over 2 Months

Costa Rica doesn’t just impress with its surf and seafood.

The Central American country is also progressive when it comes to saving the planet.

Costa Rica’s electric grid has run exclusively on renewable energy for 150 days so far this year.


Half of those days occurred in the last few months, according to the country’s power operator. The Costa Rica Electricity Institute (ICE) powered for 76 straight days on carbon-free electricity, from June 16 to September 2,.

While impressive, Costa Rica’s model unfortunately isn’t something most other countries that rely on fossil fuels can adopt in the near future.

The model works in Costa Rica thanks to its small size, minimal demand for power, and abundance of hydroelectric resources.

Not only does it require just a few plants to power the nation, the country consumes very little electricity overall.


As Mashable reports, according to a July report from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Costa Rica’s population of 4.9 million people only generated about 10,713 gigawatt-hours of electricity in 2015.

The U.S. generated about 373 times more electricity, with roughly 4 million gigawatt-hours of total generation in 2015.

Adding to Costa Rica’s forward-thinking energy cause is the fact that that most of the country’s clean power comes from four main hydropower facilities, which are fed by many rivers and ample seasonal rainfall.

Recently, heavy rains helped the country’s four big hydroelectric dams run above their usual capacity.

In August, hydropower alone accounted for about 80 per cent of the country’s total electricity generation according to the ICE. Geothermal plants provided about 12.6 percent of electricity generation and wind turbines supplied 7.1 percent.


Solar power accounted for just 0.01 percent.

While it may not be feasible for larger nations, Costa Rica is definitely setting an example for smaller countries to live fossil fuel-free.

Just one more reason to book that Costa Rica yoga retreat or week at surf camp you keep talking about.

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