Costa Rica Goes Renewable


Costa Rica has achieved a clean energy milestone by using 100% renewable energy for a record 75 days in a row. (Independent)

Use our resources to discover what other countries are powered up with renewable energy.

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit, including a link to today’s MapMaker Interactive maps.

This layer of our MapMaker Interactive displays electricity generation from all renewable sources.
This layer of our MapMaker Interactive displays electricity generation from all renewable sources.

Discussion Ideas

  • Costa Rica has not used fossil fuels to generate electricity since December 2014. Why isn’t this data reflected in our MapMaker Interactive, which shows electricity generation from renewable sources?
    • Our data is slightly outdated. The map shows each country’s total renewable output from the years 2006-2010.


  • According to the Independent, Costa Rica primarily relies on two types of renewable energy. What are they? Why are these sources smart energy choices for Costa Rica?
    • Costa Rica uses hydroelectric energy and geothermal energy.




  • Today’s MapMaker Interactive is actually a collection of six different maps, five showing the use of a different renewable energy source and one collecting the data from all renewable sources. What renewable energy source makes sense for your community? Think about the climate and physical geography of your region.
    • The five types of renewable energy sources in our maps are: wind energy; geothermal energy; hydroelectric energy; solar, tidal, and wave energy; and biomass and biowaste energy.
    • Does your community endure enough strong, sustained winds to make wind energy an efficient choice?
    • Does your community sit over a tectonically active area, such as hot springs, which may make geothermal energy an efficient choice?
    • Does your community exist near a strong river or waterfall, which may make hydroelectric energy an efficient choice?
    • Does your community endure enough sunny days to make solar energy an efficient choice?
    • Is your community a coastal region that experiences significant and predictable tidal range (the difference between high and low tides), which would make tidal or wave energy an efficient choice?
    • Does your community produce or collect enough biomass to make biomass energy an efficient choice?




Independent: Costa Rica goes 75 days powering itself using only renewable energy

Nat Geo: Electricity Generation from Renewable Energy maps

Department of Energy: The Green Power Network—Buying Green Power

6 thoughts on “Costa Rica Goes Renewable

  1. Caution though. Hydroelectric power that inundates rivers, jungles and irreparably harms ecosystems, subsistent and commercial fisheries is a problem. And tropical reservoirs emit a phenomenal amount of greenhouse gases. Emphasis must be placed on actual renewable power sources. Just sayin’.

  2. I am Costa Rican and I love seeing positive articles about my country in international press and social media. However, I find that this piece and many other articles (from other reputable sources) covering the same topic have been written in a way that lends itself to misinterpretation. I think it is important to clarify that CR relies heavily on fossil fuels as a source of energy. Over 50% of the total energy consumption in CR depends on petroleum-based fuels (most of it consumed by the transportation sector). This article refers to 100% renewable ELECTRIC energy. Like many other (developed and developing) countries, CR needs to make significant policy and behavior changes to reduce our reliance on non-renewable energy sources.

  3. However you forget to mention that this is not the first time the country does that.

  4. Developed countries use lot off fossil fuel,high buildings,urban centralization,mother earth is badly raped by cruel human beings

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