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Electricity in Costa Rica in 2022

Global Ranking: #32
98.0% #10 Low-carbon electricity
279.74 watts #115 Generation / person
37.33 gCO2eq/kWh #9 Carbon Intensity
Net exporter Electricity imports

Costa Rica's electricity consumption for the year 2022 is reported as 279.74 watts per person, with a significantly greater proportion of this being low-carbon energy. Almost 98% of the total electricity comes from low-carbon sources, meaning they are primarily reliant on kinds of energy that have minor carbon footprint. The majority of this is from hydropower, providing nearly 73% of the total electricity, while geothermal and wind energy contribute 13% and 10% respectively. In comparison to the global average of 412 watts per person, Costa Rica's electricity generation is noticeably low. Although resulting in less energy availability, it does ensure that the carbon impact remains minimal. Fossil fuels scarcely contribute to their energy mix, accounting for a mere 2%.


Given the evidence, it would be fruitful for Costa Rica to consider expanding their wind energy generation further. Costa Rican's already substantial contribution from clean energy sources could be bolstered in line with the Denmark and Sweden models, for they are generating around a third of their electricity from wind. These countries, despite differences in geography and climate, have proved success in harnessing wind energy. Costa Rica could likewise adjust and harness its wind energy capacity. Nuclear energy isn't yet part of Costa Rica's low-carbon energy mix. However, they could learn from countries like France, Sweden, and South Korea, who generate over two-thirds of their electricity from nuclear energy. Implementing a similar model in Costa Rica could be crucial in increasing their low-carbon electricity generation.


History shows Costa Rica has a consistent record of producing low-carbon electricity, primarily from hydropower. From the early 1980s, they steadily increased their hydroelectric generation, with significant increases seen in 1980 and 1983. The 1990s introduced a slight decline but also saw the transition towards geothermal energy in 1992. The turn of the century marked a renewed focus on hydropower, demonstrated by the steady increments in hydropower electricity generation between 2000 and 2004. Despite some fluctuation in the hydroelectric production in 2013 and 2019, recent years have shown outstanding growth in the hydroelectric sector. In 2018, wind energy was introduced into the Costa Rican electricity mix, supporting the country's continuous commitment to diversifying and expanding their low-carbon electricity generation.

Data Sources

For the years 1971 to 1988 the data sources are World Bank and IEA (imports/exports).
For the year 1989 the data sources are EIA and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 to 2001 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2002 to 2003 the data source is Ember.
For the year 2004 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2005 to 2010 the data source is Ember.
For the year 2011 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2012 to 2015 the data source is Ember.
For the year 2016 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2017 to 2022 the data source is Ember.