Costa Rica Powered with 100% Renewable Energy for 75 Straight Days
Central American country provides glimpse of what a combination of renewable energy sources makes possible, and offers context for benefits and limitations.
Achieving a sustained time period of generating all needed power for a large region, or even country, using 100% renewable energy, is a commendable feat of which communities need to take notice. Examples like Costa Rica’s demonstrate not only that it’s possible to achieve this goal, but that different regions need to rely on resources that are native to their surroundings, and be empowered by economic feasibility as well as concerted efforts and policies to make it happen.
“The Costa Rican Electricity Institute says the country’s zero-emission milestone was enabled thanks to heavy rainfalls at four hydroelectric power facilities in the first quarter of 2015. These downpours have meant that, for the months of January, February and so far March, there has been no need to burn fossil fuels to generate electricity.
“Instead, Costa Rica has been powered primarily by hydro power—both pumped storage and run-of-the-river plants—and a mixture of geothermal, wind, biomass and solar energy.”
While the country doesn’t require or consume the same amount of energy as more industry-intensive regions, among the unspoken lessons is that generating one’s own energy through renewable resources can be an economically-stimulating pursuit, not to mention one that, compared to relying on other resources, lessens the burden on the environment on which present and future communities depend for survival.
No option is perfect, but the goal is to maximize benefits while minimizing costs. For instance, with the country’s heavy reliance on hydropower, a drought would impede efforts to generate the energy supply needed. And even hydropower, considered to be a “clean” resource, has an impact on the environment, including on riparian ecosystems and passing fish.
With this in mind, generating renewable energy is an ongoing process that includes monitoring of and interconnections between varieties of power sources, and even strengthening the supply of different sources. That’s probably why Costa Rica’s government approved a $958 million geothermal project.
In light of Costa Rica’s example, Team Gemini works with a variety of technologies to implement resource-appropriate solutions in sustainability. To learn more about Team Gemini’s diverse technology solutions, visit http://teamgemini.us/technologies/.
For more information on Costa Rica’s recent renewable energy achievement, you can check out http://qz.com/367985/costa-rica-is-now-running-completely-on-renewable-energy/ and http://www.sciencealert.com/costa-rica-powered-with-100-renewable-energy-for-75-days.