Costa Rica ranked third in polls that rated each country in North and South America on their production of energy using geothermal techniques. This was revealed in a study by The International Geothermal Institution (The IGA in Spanish) which put our country in third place behind The United States and Mexico, outranking both El Salvador and Nicaragua.
In the same study on a global level Costa Rica placed at an impressive eleventh, outranking countries that have better geothermal natural resources such as Iceland, Italy, Indonesia, New Zealand, and The Philippines.
In our country there are six geothermal plants located in two sites: Miravalles, and Las Pailas, both located in Guanacaste.
Although many environmentalists maintain the belief that geothermal generation of energy in Costa Rica causes environmental harm in the country’s national parks, The Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE in Spanish) has revived 19,398 hectares of jungle that were previously pasture deserts.
“Besides generating reliable and renewable electricity, these projects have driven tourist activity, recreation, and outdoor space that benefits the inhabitants of Bagaces as well as the neighboring regions. The vision of ICE is based on the coexistance between geothermal production, environmental conservation, and social development,” said Luis Pacheco, manager of ICE and the company’s press communication.
The company hopes that by 2019 Costa Rica will open the new geothermal plant, which has been referred to as Las Pailes II. bY 2025 the company aspires to have built to more plants, making for a total of nine at that point.