Costa Rica’s renewable energy investment projects stand out in Central America

Between May 2016 and May 2017, there were a total of 27 environmental impact studies presented in Central America for development of energy generation projects.  Costa Rica is one of the top Central American countries where the largest investment is concentrated. Wind power generation is the renewable energy that is most requested during this period.

In Costa Rica there where 7 environmental impact studies submitted, with an investment of approximately $254 million. Of the total projects, 5 correspond to wind power generation, one to solar energy generation and the other to the construction of a hydroelectric plant.

Geothermal energy in the Costa Rican national parks is yet to be legislated. The Congress in Costa Rica will discuss the bill 19.233, that proposes the exploration and exploitation of geothermal energy in national park lands. President Solis has rejected the possibility of harnessing geothermal energy in national parks, but if the bill is approved, generation capacity in the country could increase significantly.

Studies carried out by the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) estimate potential geothermal energy generation in the country at 875 MW, where current installed capacity is 195 MW. The aim of the project is to give the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE), exclusively, a special administrative Sinac authorization to exploit geothermal energy in national park lands or other forms of protection such as National Park Rincón de la Vieja, Tenorio Volcano National Park and the Arenal Volcano National Park.

Costa Rican renewable energy projects will most likely stand within the Central American region at the Energy Congress to be carried held from August 23 to 25, 2017 in El Salvador. This Congress will bring together energy industry businesspeople to discuss issues related to the development of renewable energies in Central America. The event is being organized by the Salvadoran Industry Association (ASI) and will take place at the Sheraton Presidente Hotel in El Salvador.

Among the objectives of the congress is to promote the latest developments in the regional electricity market and the opportunities they represent for the productive sector. Discussions about how to analyze the advances and limitations facing the regional electricity market for boosting the Central American economy will be heated up.

For more information about the projects, there is an interactive platform "Construction in Central America", compiled by the Business Intelligence Unit at CentralAmericaData. The platform includes an updated list of public and private construction projects; the complete list of the environmental impact studies that were submitted to the respective institutions in each country;  information about construction projects planned in all Central American countries, with details such as estimated investment, project times and phases, inputs and equipment that will be required during and after construction, water treatment, parking structure, among others.

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