The article by Anna Leach covered the "Race to renewable: five developing countries ditching fossil fuels" covered Costa Rica, Afghanistan, China, India and Albania from the perspective of five experts who commented on what the future holds.
Monica Araya was asked to comment on the chances of Costa Rica becoming a 100% renewable energy country with respect to its power generation. Here is her analysis:
Costa Rica is well on its way to becoming the first developing country to have 100% renewable electricity. Thanks to our hydro, wind and geothermal resources, 98% of our power is already renewable according to official data (Spanish website). This year, Costa Rica had 100% renewable power for 94 consecutive days. This achievement took several decades to build and the next milestone is to ensure that our electricity system is 100% renewable the whole year. This will require us to replace distributed diesel generators – that are used as a back-up source – with distributed, renewable energy resources.
The state-owned Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) plans to add more hydro, wind and geothermal power plants and retirie the heavy fuel oil-powered Moin plant in 2017. ICE also plan to improve the efficiency of existing plants that run on fossil fuels. For example, by using German technology to increase efficiency at the Garabito plant, it will go from producing 200MW to 280MW.
With Costa Rican citizens and entrepreneurs excited about solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and bioenergy, the country is now on track to have a fossil-free power system by 2025 – probably earlier.
This precedent builds confidence that we could become be the first developing country to have not only 100% renewable electricity but also a 100% renewable energy matrix. How can we tap into our agro-residues to replace imported fossil fuels for industrial uses? Why not replace petroleum-powered cars with electric cars? We have seen a new wave of societal pressure to fix public transportation and the government has pledged to deliver an electric train. Getting this done will accelerate our ongoing transition to becoming a 100% renewable energy country.
For analysis of the other countries click here to see the rest of the article