Costa Rica restarts its geothermal energy exploitation in the National Park Rincon de la Vieja, it is also preparing to participate more aggressively in the electricity market in Central America.

Environmental consultant Allan Astorga criticizes the attempt to enter protected areas for research and development without proper planning or enough information to prevent environmental damage. Astorga even warns of possible problems as economic and political sectors are urged to sell excess energy in the Electrical Interconnection System for Central America ( SIEPAC ).

According to the Director of the National Energy Control of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad Salvador Lopez the country has attained between 30 and 50 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year. Lopez, who is also the representative of Costa Rica on the market, says energy surplus sales hover between 50 and 80 GWh per year and has achieved a net profit of $ 150 million in a decade operating in the market, and about $ 80 million in savings in importations.

But imports reflect significant investments. The amount of megawatt hour (MWh) varies from one day or month to month, depending on the scarcity of sources in each country. Salvador Lopez said that at this time Costa Rica is importing under $ 200 per MWh. A month ago the Union of Chambers claimed that high rates occur because Costa Rica buys the most expensive energy from other countries.

In the 2012 National Electric Service (SEN) generated 10,079 GWh, of which just over 8% (820.6 GWh) were from private entities. The Institute purchased electricity $ 70.77 per MWh, spending $ 57.44 million in that category last year.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica