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Costa Rica

Official Name:
Republic of Costa Rica

National Designated Entity

Type of organisation:
Government/Ministry
Name:
Ms. Andrea Meza Murillo
Position:
Director
Phone:
+506 2253 4298, +506 8882 0690
Emails:
andrea.mezamurillo@gmail.com

Energy profile

Costa Rica (2012)

Type: 
Energy profile
Energy profile
Extent of network

Costa Rica’s 98.6% electrification rate is the highest in Central America, as is its per capita power consumption of 1,611 kWh/year, which is ahead of the Latin American average as well. On average, a middle-income Costa Rican family’s electric bill takes up 2% of its income—one of the lowest rates in the region, thanks to Costa Rica’s higher per capita income and lower power prices owing to the preponderance of hydropower in electricity generation.

Renewable energy potential

HydropowerWhile Costa Rica has used 1271 MW of its hydropower resources, there are 4531 MW more that could be exploited. Hydropower dams are the leading source of electricity in the country, accounting for 78% of electric power, and making Costa Rica the region's leading producer of clean energy.Geothermal Costa Rica has installed 145 MW of geothermal capacity and has the potential for 90 MW more.SolarIn Costa Rica, depending on the place, this country receives energy equivalent to 1300–1700 kW h/m2 yr. Taking 1500 kW h as an average, the total energy received on the Costa Rica terrain (50,000 km2) in 1 year will be 75,000 TWh, whereas the total energy consumed is about 28 TW h (103,350 TJ), that means the solar potential on Costa Rica is about 2600 times the energy consume in 1 year. The use of solar energy is still negligible, but the aim is for alternative power sources to expand significantly over the next decade.WindThere are 600 MW of unused wind potential. In 2010, a 49.5MW wind farm was inaugurated by the German project developer JUWI as part of the government’s goal to derive all of its energy from RES. The wind turbines installed in the Guanacaste region by JUWI and its partners GDF Suez Energy Central America, a subsidiary of the French-Belgian GDF Suez Group, and the local company BC y Asociados, will contribute to the country’s renewable energy objective. The 49.5 MW Guanacaste wind farm was completed in 2009 and consists of 55 E-44 wind turbines from German manufacturer Enercon and produces around 240 million KWh of electric energy per year.

Energy framework

National Strategy for De-carbonization of the Economy/ Stimuli for Renewable EnergiesThe country is already working on specific agendas to stimulate the use of RES, which is principally as a result of the rise in oil prices in the past, a situation which threatens to repeat itself. In that sense, the national government has initiated the so-called National Strategy for De-carbonization of the Economy, where the use of renewable energy from hydroelectric resources, geothermal, eolic, solar and biomass is promoted. The objective is to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels and at the same time promote the electrification of land transportation methods, modernization of vehicular transportation of persons and goods, regionalization of transportation, reinforce the use of multimodal transportation and energy efficiency policies in the industry and general consumption.

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  • Central American carbon finance guide

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    Central American states are aware of the implications of the climate change challenge and are attempting to combat it through the use of the abundant renewable resources of the region for energy generation and fossil fuels substitution. At the international level, the markets for greenhouse gas emission reductions and renewable electricity certificates have been fragmented. This picture is changing but a great deal of knowledge is required from the project developers to maximise the carbon benefits for their projects.

  • REDD Realities: How strategies to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation could impact on biodiversity and Indigenous Peoples in developing countries

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    It is crucial for international and national aspects of any forest conservation regime, programme and project to fully involve women, indigenous peoples and small farmers. This publication looks at the strategies of non-governmental and indigenous peoples’ organisations to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Panama and Uganda. It also outlines the likely impacts of REDD on these countries. The document also contains links to reports by NGOs in Nepal, Paraguay and Brazil.

  • Contribution of Energy Services to the Millennium Development Goals and to Poverty Alleviation in Latin America and the Caribbean

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    This report covers several areas about energy access, its integration into national planning frameworks within the Latin American and Caribbean regions, energy consumption trends, social and environmental impact of reforms and emerging planning frameworks for energy in development. The report also provides recommendations, guides for general considerations in energy planning and best practices for implementation vis-a-vis the Millennium Development Goals.

  • CO2 utilization in the perspective of industrial ecology, an overview

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    Carbon dioxide emissions from anthropic activities have accumulated in the atmosphere in excess of 800 Gigatons since preindustrial times, and are continuously increasing. Among other strategies, CO2 capture and storage is one option to mitigate the emissions from large point sources. In addition, carbon dioxide extraction from ambient air is assessed to reduce the atmospheric concentration of CO2. Both direct and indirect (through photosynthesis) pathways are possible.

  • Capacity Building hub for Sustainable Energy

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    The capacity building hub collaborates with global stakeholders and institutions across the energy value chain, and leverages their mutual strengths to foster attainment of the ambitious goals. The hub undertakes a demand-driven approach to catalyze change. It is a special-purpose vehicle that facilitates - awareness generation/sensitization, knowledge assimilation and dissemination, design and delivery of programmes of change, and identification of research gaps.

  • Lighting a Billion Lives

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    Lighting a Billion Lives is a global initiative to facilitate clean energy access and the delivery of last mile energy services for basic and productive use. The initiative enables energy poor communities to transition from traditional and inefficient energy sources to modern, more efficient and sustainable energy solutions. The initiative accelerates market development for clean energy technologies through knowledge sharing, capacity building and market seeding.

  • GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment)

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    GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) is a rating tool that helps people assesses the performance of their building against certain nationally acceptable benchmarks. It evaluates the environmental performance of a building holistically over its entire life cycle, thereby providing a definitive standard for what constitutes a ‘green building’. The rating system, based on accepted energy and environmental principles, seeks to strike a balance between the established practices and emerging concepts, both national and international.

  • Specialized Library on Climate Change

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    The Specialized Library on Climate Change houses wide array of resources on climate change related issues, both in print and electronic form. The website provides information about all the resources and services offered by the library. The library catalogue of print and electronic resources and database of literature abstracts can be accessed on-line. Current awareness services like listing of new arrivals and compilation of latest news and events are also provided on-line.

  • ENVIS Centre on Renewable Energy and Environment

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    The major objectives of the ENVIS Centre are collection and dissemination of information in order to support and promote research, development and innovation among researcher, policy makers, academics and other stakeholders. The Centre is actively engaged in data gaps identification and bridging, resource generation and data collection, capacity-building and information dissemination activities.