There is only one country that is close to achieving 100% renewable energy production (for production of electricity). Costa Rica operated 311 consecutive days in 2018 on renewables driven primarily by hydroelectric power production (75%), followed by geothermal power production (15%), then wind power production (5%), solar power production (4%), and a very small sector of biomass power production (less than 1%). Over 99% of Costa Rica’s electric power is derived from these five renewable energy sources (by comparison, renewable sources generate about 17% of electricity in the United States).
The country has a geographic advantage over others because of a high concentration per capita of rivers, dams, and volcanoes allowing for a high renewable energy output. The total population of 5 million Costa Ricans live in a country about the size of West Virginia. Read more about Costa Rica’s generation of electricity from renewables »
In the northwest Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, the terrain is mountainous and filled with tropical rainforests, rivers and lakes. The Miravalles Geothermal Power Plant is built on one of five active volcanoes in the country. A group of electrical contractors sponsored by ELECTRI International recently toured the plant (March 15, 2019). Standing on the outer rim of the volcano, we saw the large geothermal power plant, flanked by a solar panel farm, a windmill farm along the ridge of the mountains westward toward the Pacific Ocean, and to the south and east a hydroelectric dam. From one distribution point (where we stood) these four sources of renewable power generate electricity for over 250,000 homes in the region. There is not another place on earth a person can stand and see 4 sources of renewable power converge to distribute electricity to power the needs of any community or region. As Costa Rica looks to convert transportation to renewables energy sources, electrical contractors or systems integrators, will design, build and maintain these renewable, clean power sources.
See a short video from 2017 explaining Costa Rica’s renewable energy sources:
NECA Technology – the Project for Applied and Disruptive Technology, explores the world of technology and keeps members informed of what’s happening today, and of what will be launched in the not-too-distant future. Dr. Joey Shorter has an extensive background in education and experience in translating the work of academics into understandable, practical ideas.