Costa Rica must have built dams on every river in the country. And only 0.01% from solar. What they should do is get going on solar and get rid of a lot of those dams when it becomes feasible. The US should not look toward Costa Rica as a model of renewable energy. Rather the US needs to concentrate its efforts mainly on solar and wind. Some states like Iowa and Texas are already getting a large percentage of electricity from wind. And most reports indicate that solar is finally taking off in big way. Most encouraging is utility-scale solar is taking off. As utilities build large solar facilities solar should begin accounting for a large percentage of electricity production. And also encouraging is that finally the US has off-shore wind turbines in place. Now that there are wind turbines off Rhode Island things should really get moving on off-shore wind.
Hydropower projects are not "methane bombs" especially when compared to the methane emission of the coal mines they are replacing. Every hydropower project is different and need to be evaluated individually. The impacts of many of them - particularly smaller and run-of-river type projects is practically zero.
This is not good news for Costa Rica.
As soon as Inhofe and the other pro-fossil fuel industry climate denying senators and house members get wind of this, Costa Rica will be invaded by us and be forced to get their minds right.
By "100% Renewable" they mean only electric generation - and in a lot of areas - those that have abundant hydropower resources that is true - notably the US Northwest and many parts of Canada including Quebec. Oil-exporting Venezuela is almost 100% renewable by that standard - most of its electricity coming from a singe source - the huge Guri Dam - but an oil exporting country where gasoline is 5 cents a liter is not "green" as far as I'm concerned.
Need to mention the fact that Costa Rica does not waste a single centavo on the creation, arming, and support of a military, which leaves much needed money for social support and environmental protection. What a concept!
I see that both Trump and Hillary want a massive increase in military spending and a much larger military.
Tweedle dee and tweedle dumb.
Yes, that is a much more important fact.
As far as renewable energy goes. IT IS NOT APPLICABLE to a major country or population center with anything close to modern delusional ideas of "necessary" comforts and status quo of society.
Well you certainly have the party line of the oligarchy down pat.
And there's a constant surge of dental and medical tourism passengers taking advantage of their relatively low cost dental and medical expertise.
When I go to a particular clinic, its staff members are very happy and have such a strong work ethic that they typically keep the clinic open till 8-10 P.M!
Will all the money Trump says he will spend to fix our infrastructure, will he at least be fair when subsidizing renewables, or will he continue to give preference to Big Fossil and continue the huge oil, coal and nuke handouts?
They better watch out for shock and awe.
Interesting and encouraging for CR, but the author's credibility is failed by this wierd assertion that hydropower is a methane bomb. Her source, Mr. Wockner needs to explain the science of this. In my 60 years of working with water education ... If he is including the environmental effects of building and operating hydro, he needs to say so, and to compare it to alternative energy sources. Convince me that he is not himself a source of noxious gas.
"Renewable" isn't always "clean", is it?
And why does a tropical nation produce next to no sun power?
Please don't say that to loud. Or somebody might overthrow the government.
Say what you will but they are still kicking hell out of China and US.
Costa Rica, la Pura Vida. Beautiful land, and I had the good fortune to visit it for a week, 4 years ago. Lovely and memorable.
CD should fix the headline; although the subtitle and article get it right, and it's been pointed out in the comments. This is electricity, not energy, which also includes transport, often some heating, industrial processes, etc. Most of that can be electrified and thus renewablized, although it will cost money to do it quickly. The rich world needs to help them at the same time it builds its own at WWII mobilization speeds.
Hydro has been encouraged by development organizations like USAID, World Bank, etc. and has been cheap or subsidized for far longer than other renewables.
17 countries are at or virtually at 100% renewable grids with about 4 more close in either amount or time. (Scotland, eg. 50% now but 100 expected by 2020.) Many of them are poor countries. More than 50 countries are over half renewable-powered.
The cheapest sources of renewable energy are efficiency, conservation and wiser lives. Passive and active solar space and water heating and cooling, solar cooking, and ACES, are ways to build grid-saving reductions into the housing stock, etc. and should be required worldwide for all new buildings.
In the last 20 years both wind and solar have dropped more than 90% in price, and the pace of the drop is accelerating as more is deployed. Wind has gotten as cheap as coal in the last 5 years or so, and in the last year or so, solar has also gotten down below coal and even highly destructive fracked gas. So the many tropical and subtropical countries that have been building renewable grids with mostly hydro and wind (CR 92%, Spain, 43 and Portugal, 63...) can now build efficient solar and wind grids and microgrids supplemented by those other solar, sources, 24/7 solar thermal (Morocco just opened one that will eventually power 1 million people) plus hydro, geothermal, waste biomass, etc. With huge onshore and offshore wind, and solar resources to supplement the hydro and geothermal dispatchable energies, Costa Rica, who with the addition of cheap solar PV into the hocketed renewable grid, can now start massively electrifying transport and other primary energy, is a paradise for renewables. So is the US, also fabulously wealthy enough to achieve zero carbon energy independence in no time--but it doesn't feel like it.
We're all in this together; it's time we started acting like it.
Good god! I can't think of anything so environmentally irresponsible as flying to Costa Rica (emitting tons of CO2 per passenger into the upper troposphere) just for dental work!
becasue you can't produce it a night, and can't store it.