Costa Rica not Harnessing Geothermal Power

Current regulations declare zones with geothermal energy potential as protected areas, forbidding any exploitation.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This is the case of volcanic areas that have been declared protected as National Parks.

"The country has used this resource since 1994, when the Costa Rican Electricity Institute installed its first geothermal plant in Miravalles, Guanacaste. While there is vast knowledge in exploration, we have not taken advantage of the benefits of this type of energy", reports

More on this topic

Costa Rica: Geothermal Energy and National Parks

September 2016

In Costa Rica current installed capacity is 195 MW, in a country whose generation potential identified in studies by the state run power company amounts to 875 MW.

Opportunities for growth in geothermal power generation in the country are reflected in these 680 MW which are available and as yet untapped, according to the 2014-2035 Expansion Plan for Electricity Generation by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE).

Geothermal Energy in Central America

January 2013

The region’s geothermal power generation plants exploit only 4% of its estimated potential of 13,000 MW.

Located in a region of considerable volcanic activity, Central America has excellent features for the generation of energy using heat from the earth, however it only generates 506 MW and remains dependent on expensive imported fossil fuels.

Two Geothermal Projects in Costa Rica

December 2011

Feasibility studies are being carried out, funded by the International Cooperation Agency of Japan.

Feasibility studies for geothermal projects Pailas II and Borinquen will be financed by the Japanese government, under an agreement of understanding between the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) and the International Cooperation Agency of Japan (JICA), as a result of an official visit by president Laura Chinchilla to the Asian country.

Costa Rica: Push for Geothermal Energy Projects

May 2011

The increasing energy demand and the slow progress of Electricity Act are driving the Government to promote the use of geothermal energy.

The projects promoted by the government would allow geothermal exploitation in the protected areas of Rincón de la Vieja and Tenorio. Studies conducted by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) estimated generation of up to 137MW in Rincon de la Vieja and about 100MW in Tenorio.

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