Costa Rica: Renewables Powerhouse at What Cost?


In mid-March, Costa Rica became the first country in the world to operate its electricity system on 100 per cent renewable energy for 75 days. Due to heavy rains, Costa Rica has been able to meet the bulk of its electricity demands with hydropower, with the remainder coming from wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy. Because it did not burn fossil fuels to supply the grid, electricity rates dropped an average of 12 per cent in April and are expected to continue downward thanks to large hydro reserves.

Although this is an achievement to be lauded, it may ironically come at the hands of climate change. And because electric vehicles are few, 70 per cent of Costa Rica’s carbon emissions come from transportation. So, paradise is not yet trouble-free.


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Pollution Probe

Pollution Probe is a national, non-profit organization that exists to improve the health and well-being of Canadians by advancing policy that achieves positive, tangible environmental change.

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