Wind turbines moving Costa Rica further toward energy efficiency

Story and Video by Chinmay Vaidya

TILARAN, Costa Rica — Costa Rica produces about 95 percent of its electrical energy from renewable sources. Hydroelectric power accounts for 78 percent of the country’s renewable energy, according to the Worldwatch Institute and other sources.

But the Costa Rican government and private companies have shifted their focus to wind energy.

Wind farms now dot the landscape in several zones around Costa Rica, and more are on the way. There are 57 wind turbines in the Western Arenal zone, which is the most concentrated wind farm in the country, according to the Wind Power database. The turbines in this zone overlook Lake Arenal. Most of these turbines are owned and operated by ICE, a government agency that provides electrical energy in Costa Rica. A few private companies have built turbines and sell the energy harnessed by the turbines to the government.

Wind energy only accounts for 3 percent of Costa Rica’s electrical energy from renewable sources, and geothermal energy accounts for 13 percent. Costa Rica has set a goal of relying completely on renewable sources for its electricity by 2021.

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