His Excellency Luis Guillermo Solis, President of the Republic of Costa Rica, will discuss the future of sustainable development and reflect on his nation’s success in adopting renewable energy during a presidential address during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2017.
Costa Rica achieved a historic milestone when its electricity grid ran solely on renewable energy for more than 250 days in 2016, with a continuous 110-day stretch from 17 June until 6 October. This was the second time in two years that the country had been powered by renewable energy continuously for at least two months.
In a recorded address in advance of his attendance at ADSW, President Solis said: “Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is a true global forum that connects cultures, geographies and philosophical concepts. This creates strong synergies among political leaders, policy makers, business people and society as a whole in order to address today’s challenges in renewable energy and sustainable development. This is a key component of growth, the creation of job opportunities and the improvement of living conditions for younger generations.”
The Republic of Costa Rica has long been an advocate of renewable energy and environmental conservation, promoting their adoption in Latin America since the establishment of its geothermal laws in December 1976. The laws, which authorised the exploration of geothermal energy sources, were among the very first to drive the need for clean energy in the region.
Renewable energy sources supply 98 per cent of Costa Rica’s electricity demand, according to the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, the country’s state-owned utilities provider. More than 80 per cent of Costa Rica’s energy mix is comprised of hydroelectric power, with geothermal, wind and solar energy making up the rest.
Geothermal energy has the smallest greenhouse gas footprint per kilowatt of any power generation technology, according to the Geothermal Energy Association. With a string of hotspots, mountains and active volcanoes identified in Costa Rica, and the greater Latin America region, geothermal can play a critical role in delivering a clean, limitless and continual supply of energy in the country.
Home to Central America’s largest hydroelectric power project, the 305.5-megawatt (MW) Reventazón Dam, Costa Rica has a total renewable energy capacity of 2.5 gigawatts, according to the latest figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), headquartered in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.