September 27 (Renewables Now) - The share of renewables in Costa Rica’s power generation system reached 98.84% so far in 2019, Costa Rican government-run power company Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) said Tuesday.
According to data from the National Centre for Energy Control (CENCE) cited by ICE, the Central American country has maintained the trend of keeping the annual share of the renewable generation above 98% since 2015.
This year, the largest producer was hydropower with a 67.5% share in the total production despite dry weather conditions observed in the region. The share of wind power was at 17%, while geothermal sources claimed 13.5%. Solar power and biomass-fired generation were responsible for 0.84% of Costa Rica’s electricity in 2019. The remaining 1.16% of power was generated by backup plants.
ICE attributed this year’s success to the country’s nearly 100 power plants run by state-owned utilities, rural cooperatives and private operators. This July, ICE opened the 55-MW Las Pailas II geothermal power plant, adding the seventh such facility to Costa Rica’s generation fleet.
The utility said that, by not generating electricity from fossil fuels for the past 20 years, Costa Rica has saved around USD 482.4 million (EUR 441.5m) .
The country has been exporting surplus electricity to the region since 1982. Between January and August 2019, this business was worth some USD 7.2 million from the export of 137.2 GWh, most of it coming from run-of-the-river hydropower plants (HPPs), according to ICE.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.92)