Costa Rica continues to impress with its commitment to renewable energy. We've been in awe when year after year, the Central American nation continues to lead by example, building toward its pledge of carbon neutrality by 2021. With just a few weeks left in 2017, they have run over 300 consecutive days using only renewable energy sources.
This already beats their 2015 record of 299 days using only renewable sources of energy, and their 2016 records of running on anything but fossil fuels for 271 days. 99.62% of electricity for the nation of 5 million comes from renewable sources spread across five areas—hydropower (78%), wind (10%), geothermal energy (10%), biomass and solar (1%). This is in contrast with the United States, who only generates 15% of its electricity from renewable sources.
How did they do it? Carlos Manuel Obregón, executive president of the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity, points to improvements to the grid and upgrades to clean power plants with helping them toward the goal of a full year running on renewable energy.
Of course, Costa Rica is uniquely suited to achieve such an incredible feat. Its small population makes the accomplishment more feasible than a populous country like China, India, or the United States, and industry does not hold political sway to block clean energy legislation. Costa Rica is also particularly rich in hydropower and geothermal energy sources, which works to their advantage.
Still, the country is a shining example of what steps can be taken to bring all nations closer to a carbon-neutral future. And we'll be watching the calendar to see if they can make it a full year on clean energy.
h/t: [IFL Science]