The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Currently considered the greenest country in the world with almost 90% of its energy mix from renewable sources, Costa Rica has yet to implement in key changes in the coming weeks that will provide the solar sector with competitive rules of the game to gain a foothold in the national electricity system.
On geolocation, Costa Rica as well as the rest of Central America is located in a privileged area of high solar radiation. A recent study by the German engineer, Helmut Toni Weigl in cooperation with the Chamber of Industries of Costa Rica notes that “according to various studies and maps of solar radiation, the country has values between 1,650 and 2,200 kWh/m² per year”, doubling the values of countries with fully developed solar sectors like Germany.
The particularities of Costa Rica that make it an exceptionally attractive emerging market for investment is that it enjoys stability and legal security, the electricity demand is constantly growing, the electrification of the country stretches to 99.4% of the territory and nearly 88.2% of its energy is from renewable sources, “the highest in the region”, as revealed by the latest report of the ECLAC regarding the electricity sector in Central America.
After several years of cautious development, Costa Rica’s emerging solar market has finally had significant growth, particularly for photovoltaics in recent years. “Today, we have multiplied the companies, because it is perceived that the solar market is open,” says Natalia Alvarado, president of ACESOLAR and speaker at the upcoming conference The Solar Future of Central America to be held in Panama City.
In this definitive market opening, Costa Rica will play an indispensable role regarding the regulations expected to take effect before the end of the year. On one hand, the ICE Distributed Generation Pilot Plan adopted on April 8 will now be extended to the whole country. Furthermore, ARESEP will assign a regulated electricity rate for solar power as the existing provisions govern hydroelectric ($0.09 to 0.15/kWh) or wind ($0.08 to 0.12/kWh).
“And there’s no quicker solution than solar energy to solve demand problems and high electricity prices,” points out Johst Bernhardt, who specializes in renewable energy and energy efficiency for the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica (ICRC) and a consultant for GIZ (German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation) in Central America.
According to Bernhardt, there’s no official data on the table, their perception is that the solar sector could install between 50-100 MW per year and up to 600MW within approximately five years.
The Solar Future of Central America (November 13-14 in Panama City) is an excellent opportunity to explore the field of opportunities and risks of both Panama and Central America, a region that is expected to reach 1.5 GW of capacity to the year 2018.
For More Conference Info Contact : The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose, Costa Rica