Costa Rica Elections: Proposals for Industry

While one candidate is willing to review the limits on private electricity cogeneration, and raise them from 15% to 30%, the other rejects the possibility of extracting natural gas due to its environmental implications.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

In a meeting with companies in the Chamber of Industries of Costa Rica (ICRC), the two candidates who will go head to head in a second round of voting on April 1, shared their proposals to deal with issues of great importance to the industrial sector, such as electricity rates and the opening up of the electricity market, as well as the management of procedures in State institutions.

From a statement issued by the ICRC :

What are your three main proposals to reduce electricity rates? 

Carlos Alvarado:
1) Promote distributed generation (DG), without breaking the solidarity in the system, because lower income groups would be the slowest to come on board. Reform regulation of DG, so that it is not restrictive, as is currently perceived.  

2) Migrate to a storage model. Thanks to technological advances, hydroelectric dams will not be necessary for backup, due to the batteries, which would represent the new storage. Therefore, the ICE must migrate from backup to a storage scheme. This of course, as long as it is with renewable sources of energy.  

Fabricio Alvarado: 
1) Review the limits of private electric cogeneration, raising it from 15% to 30% or 40%. 

2) There should be bilateral contracts between private companies to participate and sell. 

3) Respect the autonomy of ARESEP, so that excessive costs are not charged to consumers via tariffs.  

4) Apply the TMTb correctly and encourage distributed generation.  

Do you agree with allowing extraction of natural gas in the country and / or its import?

Carlos Alvarado: He is not in favor of gas extraction because of the environmental implications. Natural gas is seen as a transition energy to reach renewable energies. If due to a cost issue importation has benefits, it could be evaluated, however, a scale must be acquired and the infrastructure must be invested in, which would require a PPP. I would evaluate it if it is part of a definitive transition to clean energies.

Fabricio Alvarado: Import yes; in terms of exploitation, also yes, as long as the environment is protected.

How will you resolve the problems that recur in the management of procedures in the Ministry of Health, SETENA, Customs and other institutions?

Carlos Alvarado: A strategic selection should be made of what you want to achieve in the 4 years of administration, this will be based on 5 areas that we propose managing from the Presidential House: 
- Mobility, infrastructure and ordering.  
- Economic reactivation and procedure (the margin of discretion that middle level executives have must be eliminated). 
- Implementation of tripartite dialogue to understand the concerns of the sectors. 
- Generation of employment with a territorial approach. 
- Educational improvement. 
The management of these issues from the Presidential House will not be about procedures, but strategic to follow up on the fulfillment of the goals.

Fabricio Alvarado: Implementation of Digital Government (GD), through the establishment of a GD agency directed from the Presidential House, for which there will be a commission that will establish specific goals in this area. Also, he proposes following up with Ventanilla Única de Inversiones in PROCOMER.

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