Saturday 1 April 2023

Renewable electricity generation to reach 98% in Costa Rica this year

Five renewable sources available to the Costa Rican matrix: water, geothermal, wind, biomass and sun

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01 April 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – The Centro Nacional de Control de Electricidad (CENCE) – National Electricity Control Center – presented the energy production projections for this year. The activity was carried out on Friday in the presence of the different agents of the Sistema Eléctrico Nacional (SEN) – National Electric System, at the Center’s facilities, located in Santo Domingo de Heredia.

According to the data, the five renewable sources available to the Costa Rican matrix: water, geothermal, wind, biomass and sun: would make up 98% of the national electricity generation. Hydrometeorology analysis indicates that this year will be characterized by drier conditions than in 2021.

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The possibilities of greater economic activity, after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, will allow a moderate increase in electricity demand. It is estimated that electricity consumption in the country will grow 0.36% compared to last year and that it will reach about 11,564 gigawatt hours (GWh).

“In 2022 we will have limited access to the Regional Electricity Market (MER) to import, due to the most intense dry season facing the region and international conditions for the purchase of supplies. Therefore, the relevance of national support to guarantee supply at the most economical cost and meet the needs of all sectors of the country,” said Salvador López, director of CENCE.

In 2021, rainfall was above average and even made it possible to reach a record for exports to the MER, with more than 1,000 GWh sold. Also, the SEN added the period with the lowest use of thermal backup in 65 years.

During 2022, the level of the Arenal reservoir shows a behavior within what is expected for a period with flows below the historical average. This is the main body of water in the country for hydroelectric generation, with multi-annual and essential storage capacity in the national security reserve.

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