April 20 (SeeNews) - Costa Rica expects to produce 97.1% of its electricity this year from clean energy sources such as hydro, geothermal, wind, biomass and solar plants, state-run utility Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) said on Friday.
The forecast reflects rainfalls and positive water reserves in the first months of 2015, along with the country's energy model developed over the last 66 years.
Rainfalls exceeded by 30% the historic average in January and February and facilitated electricity exports to the regional market. The hydrological conditions remained favourable through March, which is usually a month of low hydrology, Gilberto De la Cruz, manager of ICE's planning and development centre, said.
The utility reviewed its forecast for 2015 after all of the electricity in the first 75 days came from renewable sources. Thus, thermal power generation is expected to represent only 2.9% of total output versus 10.3% in 2014, while associated fuel costs will drop 83%, De la Cruz estimated.