Arenal volcano, Costa Rica, by Flickr user Adam Baker (Used under CC License)Enlarge Photo
The idea of an electricity grid powered entirely by renewable energy may seem like a utopian dream, but one country has recently achieved it, albeit briefly.
That would be little Costa Rica, which claims to have powered itself using only renewable energy for 75 days.
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This was largely thanks to heavy rainfall, which powered four hydroelectric plants during that period, the state-run Costa Rican Electricity Institute told The Independent.
No fossil fuels have been used to generate electricity since December 2014, authorities say.
Costa Rica, by Flickr user Alex (Used under CC License)Enlarge Photo
Located between Nicaragua and Panama, the small Central American country already has substantial renewable-energy infrastructure, and hopes to move away from fossil fuels permanently.
Last year, Costa Rica got 80 percent of its electricity from hydro sources, and another 10 percent from geothermal sources.
The World Economic Forum ranked Costa Rica second in Latin America--after Uruguay--in electricity and telecommunications infrastructure in its 2014 Global Competitiveness Index.
Projects to expand geothermal generating capacity are also in the planning stages.
The national government approved $958 million in funding for these geothermal projects last year.
That money will go toward one 55-megawatt plant, which provide enough power for 55,000 homes in the country of 4.8 million people.
Costa Rica, by Flickr user Aaron Escobar (Used under CC License)Enlarge Photo
Two additional 50-mW plants will follow after the first one is completed.
All of this will help achieve a government goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2021.
Perhaps even more remarkable than that goal is the fact that Costa Rica is pursuing it even at the expense of potential economic gains.
Some countries invest in renewable energy because of a lack of local fossil-fuel sources, but that isn't really the case here.
Oil deposits were recently discovered off Costa Rica's Caribbean coast.
But they'll remain untapped, as the country looks to more sustainable energy sources.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Green Car Reports thanks our tipster, who prefers to remain an International Man of Mystery.]