Costa Rica has been running on renewable energy for 113 straight days, which means it’s on pace to break its own record from 2015. Last year, Costa Rica managed to provide 99 percent of its power needs from renewable energy sources alone.
As Fast Co.Exist points out, Costa Rica’s geography certainly helps it meet these lofty goals. Heavy rain and mountain ranges make the country’s reliance on hydroelectric plants possible. However, Costa Rica is making an effort to diversify its renewable energy capacity, tapping into its geothermal potential — Costa Rica is home to many volcanoes — and investing solar energy in case of drought.
There are other factors that contribute to Costa Rica’s success with renewables. The country doesn’t have heavy industry or large manufacturing plants, and therefore has relatively modest energy consumption to begin with. The population is small compared to the United States, where renewable energy sources generate only around 13 percent of total electricity. Widespread poverty in Costa Rica also contributes to low energy usage.
Costa Rica aims to be totally carbon neutral by 2021. This seems perfectly attainable for the country’s electric grid, but most Costa Ricans still drive cars that run on gasoline. Because swapping in electric cars will prove to be too challenging, the government is looking to offset those carbon emissions in other ways.
(Via Fast Co.Exist)