Hydroelectric dam in Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s Pirrís hydroelectric dam. (Credit: Alberto Font/The Tico Times)

Costa Rica’s pouring rains support the country’s lush ecosystems. They fill its powerful rivers, which generate massive amounts of hydropower.

For the last two years, Costa Rica has generated 98 percent of its electricity from renewables.

Orozco: “We’re very proud to have achieved this outstanding record.”

That’s Javier Orozco at the Costa Rican Electricity Institute.

He says most of the country’s electricity comes from hydropower. But Costa Rica also uses wind, geothermal and solar. And the amount of clean energy is growing. Last year, the country’s biggest hydroelectric project came online. It’s expected to generate enough electricity to power half a million homes.

It’s all part of a national effort to become carbon-neutral within the next four years.

Orozco says that working towards this goal and transitioning to clean energy has not slowed the country’s economic growth.

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Orozco: “It is possible to achieve a very good balance of sustainable and economic development.”

By making use of what it has – abundant rain and rivers – Costa Rica is helping to protect the climate and grow its economy.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image graphic: Created by David McCarthy.

Diana Madson

Diana Madson contributed regularly to Yale Climate Connections from 2014 to 2021. She enjoys exploring U.S.-based stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition to her...