Revival of El Diquís Hydroelectric Project in Costa Rica

A story that has now been going on for twenty years could be resumed with the adoption of a legal framework to be used to consult with the natives living in the area where the 650 MW plant would be built.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

EDITORIAL

Finally, there is a legal framework to start once and for all the "intercultural dialogue" that is needed to give the green light to the construction of one of the most important hydroelectric projects for the future energy supply of the country.

A statement by the Solis administration states that "... The consultation with Indigenous Peoples is the State 's obligation to consult in a manner that is free , planned and publicised, using the appropriate procedures and through their representative institutions, whenever legislative or administrative measures are foreseen which may affect them directly. "

See also "How to Ensure Eternal Poverty for Indigenous People"

One aspect that concerns the new rules of indigenous consultation is that "... the process of building the mechanism will be the result of dialogue rather than imposition". It will even "... establish a general road map, in which the Regional Meetings will be responsible for defining the methodology of the process, guiding principles and content of the Mechanism."

The hydroelectric project El Diquís was conceived in 1996 to be the country's largest dam, and probably the largest in Central America, with capacity to generate up to 650 MW. Its implementation is essential to ensure the prevalence of the use of renewable energy resources in the country. Despite being still on paper, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute has already invested more than $100 million in research and analysis.

See also: "Electricity, Indigenous People, Development"

The hope now is that the intercultural dialogue will not take another twenty years, compromising the energy matrix and the future development of the country.

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More on this topic

650 MW Hydroelectric Project: Yes or No?

May 2018

The new Minister of Environment and Energy in Costa Rica is opposed to the Diquís project, which the state electricity company has been promoting for ten years, and which consists of building a hydroelectric generation plant in Puntarenas.

While the new leaders of the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) announced their intention to refloat the project, which due to unconstitutionality appeals filed against it has remained on paper for years, the Ministry of Environment and Energy has declared its opposition, stating that "... there are no studies or other assessments on the social and economic impact that justify the declaration of national convenience given to the project a decade ago."

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Electricity, Indigenous People, Development

April 2014

In Costa Rica the high electricity rates are driving out foreign investment while indigenous opposition impedes progress of the construction of a 650 MW hydroelectric power plant.

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April 2011

Complaints by indigenous natives from the El Diquís area are jeopardizing the project.

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