In August Costa Rica set a world record by fulfilling all of its energy needs using sustainable resources for 94 consecutive days. This breaks the old record of 75 days, also set by Costa Rica, earlier this year. The record stint was interrupted by a dwindling water supply which has been affected by a recent drought. This has forced the government to revert to thermal energy plants, a source that is non-renewable. Even though the stretch of completely renewable energy ended, Costa Rica is showing the world that large-scale use of renewable energy is possible.
How is it possible? The Central American nation receives heavy rainfall that is used to create hydropower, which provides about three-quarters of the country’s energy. Hydroelectric power is supplemented by wind and geothermal sources, which make up the majority of the balance with a miniscule amount of energy coming from solar power.
Although, Costa Rica has shown the world that a future based upon renewable energy is here, critics are quick to point out that the particulars of Costa Rica’s climate allow the nation to produce enough energy to thrive. Moreover, if their unique capabilities are contrasted with large countries, like the United States, that don’t have the particular climate that Costa Rica has, the larger nation cannot produce renewable resources on a big enough scale to fulfill the energy needs of their populations. This is also a matter of infrastructure where it is much easier to service a small nation of about five million people rather than a vast expanse like the United States with over 300 million citizens.
However, all things considered, what Costa Rica is doing is a step in the right direction. We no longer have to imagine a world where nations can get the entirety of their energy from renewable resources. The speculation of the plausibility of fulfilling the needs of an entire nation with renewable energy has ended.