Costa Rica has run on 100-percent renewable energy from June 17 to September 2, 2016. The nation has relied only on renewable energy sources for a total of 150 days so far this year. Their future goals are to aim towards using 100 percent renewable energy sources at all times. Just last year, Costa Rica logged nearly 300 days without burning coal, natural gas, or oil for a single megawatt of electricity. This triumph in using renewable energy has made it clear that in small countries it is possible to live a life without fossil fuels.
Running on 100 percent renewable energy would benefit everyone involved. However, a full eighty percent of Costa Rica’s renewable energy generation comes from hydropower. Hydropower is one of the biggest environmental problems our earth faces. It has in fact, been called a ‘methane factory’ that is the beginning of a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Not all nations have been as energy efficient as Costa Rica. About 33 percent of the electricity used in the US comes from coal, and 20 percent came from nuclear power, and another 33 percent from burning natural gas, whereas only thirteen percent of the electricity came from hydropower and other renewable resources.
This is the second time in two years that Costa Rica has run on renewable energy for more than two months straight. Since this triumph, the country has been powered on a mix of solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energy, with hydropower accounting for about eighty percent of the nation’s electricity in August.
Editor’s Note: Project Censored covered Costa Rica’s pioneering renewable energy efforts as Censored Story #10 in 2016.
Nika Knight, “Costa Rica Has Been Running on 100 Percent Renewable Energy For Months,” Common Dreams, September 7, 2016, http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/09/07/costa-rica-has-been-running-100-percent-renewable-energy-months.
Bee Crew, “Costa Rica Has Been Running On 100% Renewable Energy for 2 Months Straight,” Science Alert, September 7, 2016, http://www.sciencealert.com/costa-rica-has-been-running-on-100-renewable-energy-for-2-months-straight.
Student Researcher: Nicole Wilcox (Sonoma State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Roxanne Ezzet (Sonoma State University)