Discussing clean energy in Costa Rica

In accordance with its ambitious goal to be the first ‘carbon neutral’ country in the year 2012 the Costa Rican administration continues to opt for the ‘clean’ way to meet its energy demands: hydro-electric power


The ICE, the National Energy Institute, is making progress to build the largest plant thus far: the one in the river Grande de Terraba, in the Diquis region, the south of Costa Rica.


Unfortunately, as a consequence of its construction the ICE will drown a large part of the territory of one of the few surviving indigenous people in the country: The Terraba. Their protests urged the ICE to take a halt on the project at least temporarily.


This is just one element in the starting discussion in Costa Rica about these kind of megaprojects.


The growing Costa Rican economy needs much more energy in the coming decades. Nature conservationists are questioning the use of more hydro-electric power discussing their: cleanliness.


For the construction of these plants hectares of forests (the precise ones that absorb carbon from the atmosphere) have to be cut down, stones have to be removed from the rivers, iron and copper extracted from (mostly) open mines. In short: to start producing ‘clean’ energy nature has to be devastated and contaminated first.


In addition the costs of producing this type of energy are. Not only the construction costs are exceedingly high, a column in national newspaper ‘la Nacion’ states, but also the costs of the production of energy itself have risen in the near past and are due to rise much more in the future


Therefore it should be a wise thing if more emphasis is given to other potential energy sources. There is a lot of sunshine in Costa Rica for example…