Costa Rica Has Gotten All Of Its Electricity From Renewables For 75 Days Straight

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Costa Rica Has Gotten All Of Its Electricity From Renewables For 75 Days StraightPhoto – PD

Costa Rica is one of the green gems in a world that runs itself ragged on nonrenewable energy. In 2015 and 2016, this republic in Central America used close to 100 percent renewable energy in the production of electricity – 98.9 and 98.1 percent respectively in both years. The Cost Rican Electricity Institute or ICE reported that the country’s renewable energy comes from hydropower facilities, geothermal plants, wind turbines, solar panels and biomass. [1]



Non-renewable Energy Sources And Carbon Emissions

Compared to Costa Rica, less than 15 percent of the United States’ electricity production came from renewable sources. In a country that has close to 10 million square kilometers of land mass, 85 percent of the electric supply is nonrenewable and has contributed to the increasing amount of carbon emissions in the world. According to the US Energy Information Administration, carbon dioxide production due to the generation of electricity was 1,925 million metric tons in 2015, roughly 37% of energy related carbon dioxide emissions in country. In fact, almost two thirds of electricity generation in the US came from coal and natural gas— and even worse, nuclear energy was used for the remaining 19 percent. [2][3]



How do these numbers fare against Costa Rica, a country with 50,000 square kilometers of land mass? You can reason that because of Costa Rica’s small area, it is much easier to power the entire country with renewable energy sources. However, we can also reason that the United States, a first world country considered a global superpower, has innumerable resources at its disposal in order to focus efforts on renewable energy sources. If supplying 100 percent seems too difficult, the US can do much better than 15 percent, surely.

The Effects Of Climate Change On Costa Rica

Because Costa Rica depends largely on renewable sources of electricity, it is largely affected by climate change brought about by global warming. Erratic changes in weather will affect the energy produced by their green-sourced facilities, which can cause a shift from renewable to nonrenewable energy sources — something the Costa Rican government wishes to avoid at all costs. Climate change will cause a rise in temperature and change to a drier climate, which will ultimately affect the biodiversity in Costa Rica – but these changes due to global warming will not only affect Costa Rica, but the entire world. While Costa Rica’s path to becoming carbon-neutral by 2021 seems not too far off, we all have to play our part in making sure our own countries go green as well. [4]



References:

[1] Valentine, K. (2015). Costa Rica Has Gotten All Of Its Electricity From Renewables For 75 Days Straight. https://thinkprogress.org/costa-rica-has-gotten-all-of-its-electricity-from-renewables-for-75-days-straight-58022cf0aa0a#.ubtrq24tm

[2] Walker, P. (2017). Costa Rica’s electricity was produced almost entirely from renewable sources in 2016. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/costa-rica-renewable-energy-electricity-production-2016-climate-change-fossil-fuels-global-warming-a7505341.html

[3] US Energy Information Administration. How much of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are associated with electricity generation? http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=77&t=11

[4] University of Massachusetts Amherst (2008). Could Climate Change Impact Costa Rica? New Study Says Yes. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080710200232.htm


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