Costa Rica Is Becoming Central America’s Green Energy Hub

Country Overview

The Central American country of the Republic of Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua, Panama, Pacific Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea. The population of Costa Rica is approximately 5.22 million people.

In 2022, Costa Rica’s economy was ranked 81st in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of medical instruments, bananas, tropical fruits, orthopedic appliances, and coffee.

Environmental Policies

In April 2016, Costa Rica signed the Paris Climate Agreement, pledging to reduce emissions by 44% by 2030 compared to business-as-usual levels.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 100% of the people in Costa Rica had access to electricity. In 2022, state-owned utility, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad used renewable energy (98.0%) and oil (2.0%) to generate electricity in Costa Rica. Hydropower, wind, and geothermal are the primary types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Costa Rica.

Recent renewable energy projects in Costa Rica include:

  • 5 MW Solar Project – In December 2021, British renewable energy company, BMR Energy commissioned the Valle Escondido solar project at a site approximately 100 miles northwest of the nation’s capital, San Jose.
  • Offshore Wind Initiative In September 2021, the Global Wind Energy Council, Costa Rican Ministry of Environment, and Energy, and the Costa Rican Electricity Institute met to discuss the future development of offshore wind in the nation. Costa Rica has an estimated offshore wind potential of 14,000 MW.


Costa Rica imports all of the nation’s refined petroleum for transportation and power generation. In 2021, Costa Rica imported U.S. $1.41 Billion for imported refined petroleum.

In 2021, Costa Rica’s neighbors, Panama and Nicaragua used fossil fuels to generate 24.2% and 44.0% respectively of their nation’s electricity. Costa Rica has vast undeveloped renewable energy resources, which could be developed to provide, low-cost electricity to neighboring countries.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Volatile fuel prices are causing fossil fuel importing countries to seek low- cost renewable energy projects. Costa Rica has the renewable energy resources to export excess electricity to neighboring counties, like Panama and Nicaragua. Costa Rica’s future may be a low-cost, green energy exporter to many countries in Central America.


Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”



Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.



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