Energy profile: Costa Rica
Fuel mix (fossil fuels vs renewables)
Since 2014, Costa Rica has been generating more than 98% of its electricity from renewable sources, but has yet to turn fully to renewables in other sectors such as transportation. In 2019 and 2020, renewables accounted for more than 99% of the country's electrical generation, with hydro, wind, and geothermal being the three key sources.
Greenhouse gas emissions targets
Costa Rica was the first country in Latin America and the Caribbean to adopt a coordinated plan to achieve a zero-emission economy by 2050. As of 2019 more than half of greenhouse gas emissions came from the transportation sector. Costa Rica is creating policy based on the National Decarbonization Plan 2018-2050.
Government energy agencies & other key players
National energy ministry
Costa Rica's numerous laws regulating the environment are almost all enforced by MINAE.
ICE (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad) is Costa Rica's state-run electricity and telecommunications provider. CNFL (Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz S.A.) is responsible for distribution and commercialization of electrical energy in the main metropolitan center of the country.
National oil company
Energy sector employment data
The green energy sector has created approximately 3,000 jobs in Costa Rica in areas such as biofuels, solar energy, and bus reconversion.
Electricity is produced primarily by renewable sources. As of 2019, the leading sources of energy generation were hydro (69.18%), wind (15.88%), and geothermal (13.37%), with smaller contributions from non-renewable fossil sources (0.85%), bagasse biomass (0.64%) and solar (0.08%).
Costa Rican access to electricity is universal and the country is able to meet demand through renewable resources.
Coal in Costa Rica
Costa Rica produces no coal.
Imports & source countries
Costa Rica imports all of the coal it uses, much of it from the United States.
Oil & Natural Gas in Costa Rica
Oil and gas exploration policies have been under threat of ban since 2002, with activists pushing for the ban to continue until 2050. In December 2020, Costa Rica joined Denmark in taking the first steps to establishing an official end date on fossil fuel production. Groups such as ADELA (Acción de Lucha Anti-Petrola) actively oppose offshore oil exploration.
Due to the small population and economy which is not focused on manufacturing, Costa Rica does not burn much oil or gas; the majority that is consumed is by the transportation sector. Fuel theft from the Recope Pipeline has been a concern for Costa Rican officials, with 279 oil theft incidents in 2019.
Imports & source countries
Costa Rica imported 20 million barrels of refined oil and gas products during 2018.
Proposed new sources & projects
As Costa Rica continues to diminish the use of oil and natural gas, there are no new projects in the foreseeable future.
Renewable Energy in Costa Rica
Costa Rica's electrical generation has been nearly 100% renewable since 2014; preliminary figures from 2020 showed hydropower (72%), geothermal (14.9%) and wind energy (12%) continuing to lead the way.
Iron & Steel in Costa Rica
Costa Rican exports of iron and steel totaled $151.53 million during 2019, while imports accounted for $489.33 million during the same time period. Since 2008, ArcelorMittal of Luxembourg has controlled 50% of the top Costa Rican steelmakers: Laminadora Costarricense SA and Trefileria Colima SA. ArcelorMittal is the only producer of iron rods in Costa Rica.
Open pit mining is prohibited in Costa Rica due to the negative environmental, visual, human, and cultural impacts. The Costa Rican Air Surveillance Service helps to monitor for illegal mining operations in the country.
- "Costa Rica's electric grid powered by 98% renewable energy for 6th straight year -". ticotimes.net. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
- "Panorama energético de América Latina y el Caribe 2020 (p 122)". OLADE. November 2020.
- "¿Pueden las renovables llevar a una recuperación verde de América Latina?". Dialogo Chino. October 2, 2020.
- Jocelyn Timperley. "The long road to a zero-carbon country". Retrieved 2021-05-13.
- "Costa Rica - Climate Action Tracker". climateactiontracker.org. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
- "Misión y Visión". minae.go.cr (in español). Retrieved 2021-05-13.
- Tweaco.com. "Marco Jurídico | Secretaría Técnica Nacional Ambiental". www.setena.go.cr (in español). Retrieved 2021-05-13.
- "Costa Rica Environmental Laws - CostaRicaLaw.com". CostaRicaLaw.com. 2016-05-15. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
- "¿Quiénes Somos?". Grupo ICE. March 31, 2021.
- "Marco filosófico - RECOPE". RECOPE (in español). Retrieved 2021-05-13.
- "The Future of Employment and the "Green" Revolution". The Costa Rica News. 2020-11-17. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
- "Costa Rica's renewables share hits 99.15% in 2019". Renewablesnow.com. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "10 Facts about Renewable Energy in Costa Rica | The Borgen Project". The Borgen Project. 2020-01-25. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "Costa Rica - Countries & Regions - IEA". IEA. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "Costa Rica Electricity Statistics - Worldometer". www.worldometers.info. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "Costa Rica Coal Reserves and Consumption Statistics - Worldometer". www.worldometers.info. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "Costa Rica's Green New Deal". www.eni.com. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "Costa Rica Trading Partner Portal - Advocacy - California Chamber of Commerce". Advocacy - California Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- Alvaro Murillo. "Costa Ricans could get chance to vote on opening to oil exploration". U.S. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "We have set an end date for oil and gas production. The world should follow". Climate Home News. 2020-12-12. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "Costa Rica Has Run on 100% Renewable Electricity for 299 Days". www.under30experiences.com. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "Costa Rica Oil Theft Reaches Record High in 2019". InSight Crime. 2019-11-27. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "Poliducto". RECOPE. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
- "Costa Rica exports of iron and steel - 1994-2019 Data | 2021 Forecast". tradingeconomics.com. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "Costa Rica Imports of Iron and steel - 1994-2019 Data | 2021 Forecast". tradingeconomics.com. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "ArcelorMittal Takes Control Of 2 Costa Rican Steelmakers". Manufacturing.net. 2008-02-04. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "ArcelorMittal Centroamérica y Caribe". costarica.arcelormittal.com. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "Open-Pit Mining Prohibited in Costa Rica ⋆ The Costa Rica News". The Costa Rica News. 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
- teleSUR/esf-MS. "Costa Rica: Police Unveils Gold Extraction Worth $60 Million". Retrieved 2021-05-14.