Diversification of clean energy
Hydroelectric power plants are Costa Rica’s principal source of clean energy. In addition, at a smaller scale, use is made of solar, biomass, geothermal and increasingly wind energy. But not all energy generation in Costa Rica is clean: until recently, it had to switch during dry periods to the use of fossil fueled energy sources. This left the country dependent on the imports of fossil fuels. And that’s what Costa Rica wanted to depart from, especially when nature offers more interesting alternatives. It meant that diversification of its clean energy generation capacity was needed as dry periods will continue to occur and hydroelectric power stations cannot continue during long periods of drought. In the case of Costa Rica it is wind energy which provides an excellent alternative energy source as the wind always blows in major parts of the country.
“Wind farms such as Orosí offer the country a strategic and sustainable alternative.”
More benefits from wind
Together with Globeleq Mesoamerica (Wind) Energy Ltd (Globeleq) FMO saw the need for Costa Rica of spreading sources of renewable energy and decided to invest in a new wind farm in 2013 with the capacity of 53MW: Inversiones Eólicas de Orosí Dos S.A (Orosí). The wind speed in the sparsely populated province Guanacaste is exceptionally high and stable. Since 2013 25 turbines have been installed, transmission lines have been pulled and related infrastructure has been built. For the trees that had to be felled, a reforestation program started. It provided for replanting of a tenfold of the number of felled trees. At the bottom line, the project emits approximately 76,532 tCO2eq per year less then a non-renewable energy plant would have emitted to produce the same quantity of energy. Now the wind farm supplies enough energy for approximately 100,000 Costa Ricans. Wind farms such as Orosí offer the country a strategic and sustainable alternative and moreover a good diversification of the energy mix. In 2015, 99% of the production of electricity in Costa Rica was sustainable, of which at least 250 days completely run on renewable energy. The country is worldwide viewed as a true leader. Their ambitions will be achieved as the various clean sources of energy can be used now and for many years to come. This is made possible with the right kind of long-term financing.
Publication date: Jan 2017