A popular holiday destination for people around the world, Costa Rica has been able to power its electricity grid entirely from renewable energy sources according to a report.
Costa Rica’s National Centre for Energy Control (CENCE) has stated that 16 June 2016 was the last day that the country has used fossil-based energy
The country has been powered by a mix of hydro, geothermal, wind, and solar energy. Hyrdo power accounted for about 80.27 per cent of the total electricity in August.
Geothermal energy plants contributed to 12.62 per cent of energy generation while wind turbines accounted for 7.1 per cent.
Despite the good news, critics have noted that hydro power isn’t as clean as what might be imagined as the process releases large amounts of methane gas.
Gary Wockner of Save the Colorado says, “Hydropower has been called a ‘methane factory’ and ‘methane bomb’ that is just beginning to rear its ugly head as a major source of greenhouse gas emissions that have so-far been unaccounted for in climate change discussions and analyses.”
In total the country generated 10,713 gigawatt-hours of electricity in 2015. In contrast the United States generated 373 times more electricity, with roughly 4 million gigawatt-hours of total generation in 2015.
Only last year renewable energy sources accounted for 99 per cent of the country’s electricity and 285 days were powered completely by renewable energy.
The country has a total area of about 51,000 square kilometres, which is about half the size of Kentucky, and is home to just under 5 million people.
Europe is also growing its renewable energy generation.
In 2015 Sweden’s prime minister announced that the country would work towards becoming “one of the first fossil-free welfare states of the world” as renewable energy accounts for over half of its energy generation.
Last year, Denmark’s wind farms supplied 140 per cent of energy demand and Portugal ran on renewable energy for 107 hours without pause earlier in the year.
According to the Government, electricity generation in the UK from renewable sources increased by 29 per cent between 2014 and 2015, while capacity grew by 23 per cent over the same period.
Currently, the UK has targets to reach 15 per cent renewable energy production by 2020.