No to Geothermal Energy in Costa Rica

Congress rejected a law project allowing the state-owned electricity company to explore geothermal energy in national parks.

Monday, July 13, 2009

With the rejected "Regulating Law for the Production of Geothermal Energy in National Parks", the state-owned National Institute of Electricity (ICE) would have explored energy generation in national parks, at the cost of a portion of the sales of electricity to the national parks system. According to estimates by the company, Costa Rica's geothermal potential is located mainly at national parks.

The arguments against the project presented by the Environment Commission were published in "The law allowed ICE to explore the national parks without any environmental impact studies, which was only required for the exploitation of the resource.
The representatives indicated that such condition is unconstitutional, as exploration demands construction of access roads and drilling, both affecting the environment".

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).

Exploitation of Geothermal Energy Throughout Costa Rica

October 2014

The deputy leader of the ruling bloc has presented a bill that authorizes the state power company to exploit geothermal energy in protected areas: national parks, biological and forest reserves and wildlife refuges.

"It is nonsense, from an economic, social and environmental standpoint, that the country is rejects the use of existing stocks of geothermal resources in protected areas, like those for example in national parks or forest reserves."

Legal Threat to Geothermal Energy in Costa Rica

April 2013

A bill to authorize geothermal exploitation in an area which has been declared a national park should include reform of several other laws which currently prevent such activity.

So warned Jorge Cabrera, an expert in environmental law, during the debate entitled "Scope for reform to generate geothermal energy in national parks," organized by

Costa Rica: $1.5 million in Geothermal Energy Exploration

October 2009

ICE is exploring two steam fields in the country's west, in order to install two new geothermal plants, called Las Palias II and Borinquen.

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) has invested $1.5 million in materials, for performing 10 exploratory drills, which can reach a depth of 3.000 meters.

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