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CLIMATE ACTION PROGRAMME

4 January 2017

98% of Costa Rica’s electricity from renewables in 2016

Renewable energy sources supplied 98.1 per cent of Costa Rica’s electricity last year, compared to less than 15 per cent in the United States.

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) has announced that the country generated 98.1 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources in 2017, with less than 2 per cent provided by fossil fuels.

Costa Rica, which has a population of 4.9 million people, ran solely on renewables for more than 250 days last year with a continuous 110-day period from 17 June until 6 October.

These renewable sources included large hydropower facilities, aided by the country’s network of rivers, heavy seasonal rains as well as its wealth of wind turbines, geothermal plants, solar panels and biomass plants.

Dr Monica Araya, Costa Rican Clean Development Adviser, said the extent of Costa Rica's renewable electricity generation is a “fantastic achievement".

In 2015, 98.9 per cent of Costa Rica’s electricity came from renewables.

In comparison, less than 15 per cent of the US electricity supply for January to October 2016 was renewable, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Costa Rica has recently invested in four new wind farms and the nation’s hydropower plants will continue to thrive under the projected favourable weather conditions.

Carlos Manuel Obregón, President of the ICE, said the power company expect that renewable power generation to remain “stable” in 2017.

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