Costa Rica - Carbon Neutral by 2020
Photo Credit: ecoseed
100% Renewable Energy Goal:
95-99% renewable power already achieved, as part of a goal to be carbon neutral by 2021
The Costa Rican government set a goal for the country to become carbon neutral by 2021. Regarding the energy piece of this program, the nation has already achieved 95-99% renewable electricity, approximately 80% of which is produced by hydropower. While water is abundant and local, it is considered an insecure resource at this high a percentage of the power mix. Large scale hydropower also can cause negative impacts on the environment and local communities. Moving forward, Costa Rica may diversify its renewable electricity system and emphasize ecologically sustainable technologies, such as solar, small wind turbines, and biogas from organic waste.
The country has also begun embracing electric and hybrid transportation as part of its carbon neutral target. Costa Ricans recognize the many benefits of these technologies, including their lower carbon footprint, easier maintenance, quiet rides, clean air, and independence from foreign fuel imports. In 2004, the gas-electric hybrid Toyota Prius was introduced to Costa Rica, followed by the first all electric car in 2009 - the Indian Reva. In 2011, Costa Rica became the third location after Japan and Europe to sell the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The government has pledged to support the electric vehicle movement with incentives, needed to overcome market barriers during these transitional years, including the higher price tag of electric vehicles and limited numbers of charging stations.