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Costa Rica enjoys 300 days of strict reliance on renewable energy, Nigeria can learn

In Costa Rica, renewable energy has exclusively covered electricity consumption for 300 days, a development oil-rich Nigeria faced with electricity challenges can learn from.

One nation that inspires hope for the future is Costa Rica; with a population of 4.9 million, slightly less than Adamawa State, the country celebrated using renewable energy for 300 days and is also committed to becoming 100 percent carbon neutral this year.

For the third consecutive year, Costa Rica covered its electricity consumption almost exclusively thanks to renewable sources. This is confirmed by the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE Group), the state company responsible for electricity and telecommunications services.

Data from Costa Rica’s National Center for Energy Control showed the country has been using clean energy for only 300 days. This figure is even better than in 2015 and 2016, years in which power from renewable energy had supplied the country for 299 and 271 days respectively.

Obviously, size and the environment help the small South American country that is not willing to fall asleep on the laurels. The Government has set a clear objective for 2021: to become completely neutral in terms of carbon emissions.

To help reach that goal, it is considering several initiatives that will boost the number of electric vehicles on its roads. It is also considering further development of its geothermal energy resources, according to Think Geo Energy

The plan also includes transportation. At the congress, there are two legislative proposals for alternative mobility that, if approved, would introduce tax exemptions to the importation of electric cars, create a national network of charging stations and force the electrification of a part of the public car park.

Grupo ICE, Costa Rica’s national utility company, says it does not foresee an expansion of demand for electricity beyond current capacity but will look to add geothermal resources as existing facilities reach the end of their expected service life.

“While Grupo ICE will not enter into the construction of new projects in the coming years, the analysis and planning of the energy matrix dictates that by 2027,” says Hazel Cepeda Hodgson, General Manager of the utility.

Of course, it could be argued that Costa Rica’s efforts to combat climate change have little impact because it is a small nation and well-endowed with natural resources. Yet it’s pointing to other countries like Nigeria ways to achieve cleaner energy.

Faced with a population that has sent carbon emissions soaring and stretched power supplies to breaking point, oil-rich Nigeria is turning to renewable energy in tackling climate change.

Africa’s most populous country needs more than 10 times its current electricity output to generate supply for its 198 million people, nearly half of whom have no access at all, to achieve this the government must find an efficient way to bring power to rural communities and also help clean up a country with some of the world’s worst urban pollution rates.

Nigeria is endowed with huge energy resources, yet it perennially suffers energy poverty. Also, the reliance on fossil fuel to meet Nigeria’s energy need has been attended with many problems such as physical deterioration of energy transmission and distribution.

 

DIPO OLADEHINDE

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