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Costa Rica has just done what many thought to be impossible – running on renewable energy sources for a total of 300 days.

The country has ran on a combination of hydro (78%), wind (10%), geothermal (10%), biomass and solar energy (1%), truly reflecting its government’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2021.

Of course, its small size means it is more feasible for Costa Rica to run successfully on renewables than the US, for example.

However, this example of forward-thinking climate leadership is deeply impressive nonetheless.

The Central American country has now beaten its own admirable record from 2015, when it went ‘just’ 299 days using only renewable energy. In 2016, the nation went for 271 days without the use of fossil fuels.

According to a report by Costa Rican Institute of Technology(ICE), Carlos Manuel Obregón, executive president of ICE attributes this success to improvements to the energy grid, as well as to numerous clean energy plants.

According to Obregon:

The optimization of the matrix has allowed us to take advantage of the high availability of water.

The regulatory reservoirs offer us a guarantee to maximize the use of variable sources, mainly water on the edge and wind, and in parallel to supply the contribution of geothermal energy.

However, earlier this year, Costa Rican clean development advisor Monica Araya describe Costa Rica’s clean energy record as a ‘paradox’.

Araya said:

It hides a paradox, which is that nearly 70 per cent of all our [Costa Rica’s] energy consumption is oil.

A fantastic step forward.

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