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IDB Approves $250M for Electricity Sector in Costa Rica

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced it had approved $250 million in financing for Costa Rica's electricity sector. Nearly $98 million will go to the Reventazón Hydroelectric Project, and the remainder will go toward investments in improving state power company ICE's electricity generation, transmission, and distribution capacities. IDB aims to improve the quality of energy and improve coverage in rural areas, according to press.

In May, ICE said it plans to invest $9 billion over the next 12 years in the nation’s power sector, with the majority to go toward generation in hydro, thermal, and geothermal. And IDB is further involved in the region, announcing earlier this year joint investments with the Japan International Cooperation Agency targeted up to $600 million in green energy renewable and energy efficiency projects in Central America and the Caribbean.

Costa Rica derives 12 percent (163 MW) of its electricity production from geothermal energy, the GEA noted in its recent “Geothermal: International Market Overview Report.” In fact, it was one of 39 countries identified in 1999 by GEA as having the potential to meet 100% of their electricity needs through domestic geothermal resources.

The majority of countries in Central America have developed a portion of their geothermal resources for utility scale power production. In Central America rapid economic growth, increasing dependence on imported fossil fuels, and a push to overcome regional fragmentation through the SIEPAC (Sistema de Interconexion Electrica para America Central) transmission interconnection have created the need for the development of the region’s renewable resources, the
international overview report noted.

This article was originally published in GEA's Geothermal Energy Weekly and was republished with permission.

Lead image: Costa Rica beach via Shutterstock

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Leslie is located in Washington DC at the Office of the Geothermal Energy Association and serves on the Renewable Energy World North America Conference and Expo committee.

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