Costa Rica ends clean energy run due to low rainfall

By L. Arias

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said Thursday that the lack of rains in August forced it to fire up one of its thermal plants on the Pacific coast, ending a clean energy streak that attracted worldwide attention.

In fact, it was the country’s second green streak this year. In August Costa Rica broke its own record by running 94 consecutive days exclusively on renewable energy. It set its previous record in March when it ended 75 days of renewables, ICE reported.

During the second streak, between May and August, some 78 percent of the country’s electricity came from hydroelectric power plants; 12 percent from geothermal sources, 10 percent from wind power; and 0.01 percent from solar.

But low water levels in the country’s reservoirs, mainly caused by drought in much of the territory, ended the green energy run. Hydroelectric plants supply some 72 percent of Costa Rica’s electricity needs, according to ICE.

“The drop in rainfall forced us to use the Garabito thermal plant to meet peaks in electricity needs in late August,” ICE’s director of electricity generation Alberto Ramírez said Thursday in a public statement.

Ramírez said reservoirs at Pirrís, south of San José, and Ventanas-Garita in Alajuela are the most affected by the lack of … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times