Wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy have also helped power the country. Costa Rica is one of the most developed countries in Latin America and ranks above some European Union countries in annual prosperity rankings.
The country also boasts strong green credentials on energy policy. In 2009, it announced a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2021, and the country already gets around 88% of its total electricity from renewable sources. The country’s tropical climate with high rainfall, mountainous interior and low population gives it a distinct advantage in terms of renewable energy.
Its reliance on renewables prompted the country to lower electricity rates by 12%, and the ICE predicts they could continue to drop in the second quarter of the year. However, the country’s reliance on hydroelectricity – which provides 68% of the country’s electricity – also makes it vulnerable to climate change. Any change to rainfall patterns could disrupt its supply.
As well a hydro-energy Costa Rica receives 15% of its electricity needs from geothermal plants, while 5% is supplied by wind. Solar and biomass also contribute to the country’s energy mix.