98.53% of electricity generated in Costa Rica since 2014 is renewable

Thursday, July 12, 2018

This press release from ICE was published using an automatic translation system.

Costa Rica generated 98.53% of its electricity from five renewable sources - water, geothermal, wind, biomass and solar - during the last four years, according to the National Center for Energy Control (CENCE) of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) ).

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Between June 1, 2014 and June 30, 2018, the National Electric System (SEN) produced 44,300.53 gigawatt hours. Of these, 98.53% -43,647.72 gigawatts hours-came from plants that use the renewable resources of the national matrix (see tables).

As of 2016, the clean generation was reinforced with the entry into operation of the Reventazón Hydroelectric Plant, whose function -with its regulation reservoir- is to help maintain the balance between supply and demand in the country, as well as to avoid the consumption of hydrocarbons.

In these 48 months, the SEN was added 14 plants: seven wind, six hydroelectric and one solar, and 1,197 days of 100% renewable production were accumulated. For the first quarter of 2019, ICE will incorporate the Las Pailas II Geothermal Plant - 55 megawatts of installed capacity - which will be the most modern of its kind in the isthmus.

During 2018, clean electricity reaches 97.30%, so it is projected to remain at the average of the last four years. In March of this year, Costa Rica reached the largest wind generation in its history in a single month: 216.56 megawatt hours, in March.

Since June 2014, only 652.82 gigawatt hours originated in plants that use bunkers or diesel, ignited mostly in the first quarter of the year, the time of least rainfall. Garabito, ICE's main thermal plant, was the first plant in Latin America that installed a filter to trap contaminating particles.

Basing its generation on renewable resources allows the country to have one of the lowest emission factors of greenhouse gases for electricity consumption on the planet.

Electric generation in Costa Rica

From June 2014 to June 2018

In gigawatt hours (GWh)


Water: 33,124.54

Geothermal: 5,280.43

Wind: 4,908.86

Biomass: 322.24

Sun: 11.64

Not renewable

Bunker and diesel: 652.82

Total: 44,300.53

In percentage


Water: 74.77%

Geothermal: 11.92%

Wind: 11.08%

Biomass: 0.73%

Sun: 0.03%

Not renewable

Bunker and diesel: 1.47%

Total: 100%