Almost 600km off the Senegalese coast you will find Cabo Verde or Cape Verde, a paradisiac small island, which aims to generate 100% of its electricity supply from renewable energy. The archipelago nation can look at Costa Rica’s example to achieve its goals. Over the last four years, the South American nation met 99% of its electricity demand via renewables.
Inside Cabo Verde renewable energy
This petite island, despite having an overabundance of renewable energy sources, has never fully exploited them. It has the northeasterly trade winds, plenty of free sunlight, and lots of geothermal resources waiting to be exploited.
Good fortunes, however, seem to be on the way, especially if the ambitious goal of relying on green power by 2025 is actualized. The project under the banner, ‘sustainable energy for all’ is poised to turn Cabo Verde into a country that fully depends on renewable energy. It is a smart move which, if it indeed turns out to be similar to that of Costa Rica, will earn the island nation lots of plaudits across the world.
How Costa Rica managed to get 100% of its supply from renewable energy
The fact that it’s not the only country blessed with all these resources, yet it now uses them to power up the country is incredible. What’s even more interesting is how this country manages to get 100% of its power from renewable sources.
It has hydro, geothermal, wind, biomass and solar energy. Basically, this country gets up to 78% of its power from hydroelectricity sources. Wind power and geothermal energy each make up 10% of the national grid while the remaining amount is harnessed from biomass and solar.
How Costa Rica managed to harness all these for the national grid was based on a well-thought-out plan that included the government’s forward-thinking solutions plus the country’s unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability.
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The Costa Rica government made renewable energy a priority, drawing up the plan while funding it from its onset. All the multi-million dollar hydro-electricity and geothermal power plants set up were exclusively funded by the government.
They built three 50 MW geothermal power plants worth $954 million as well as a 305.5 MW hydroelectric plant.
Costa Rica’s success can be copied
For Cabo Verde, which is smaller than Costa Rica, achieving a similar goal is totally doable. The powerful and reliable northeasterly trade winds it receives are ideal for wind power production.
Cabo Verde has no hydroelectric source, unlike Costa Rica, but that doesn’t mean it can’t construct one.
Other resources it has are geothermal energy, which it can quickly get from its volcanic mountains and the regular tides and waves that hits its shores. There’s also an emerging technology known as ocean thermal energy conversion. Under this technology, Cabo Verde will use the temperature differences between the cold temperatures of the deep sea and the warm temperature at the surface to generate power.
With Cabo Verde, the stakes are as high as its average annual power consumption
If all these are realized, this country will have aptly met the growing needs for power. Cabo Verde has been doubling its annual electricity consumption every five years, and it’s highly likely that the 360 GWh recorded in 2015 will have grown to 670 GWh by 2020. Also, it will experience no hurdles meeting the country’s ballooning power needs as, on average, a person spends 727kWh per year.
The national grid in Cabo Verde currently comprises of wind and solar, besides petroleum-powered generators. But given how successful the two sources of green power have been thus far, and the example of Costa Rica, 100% renew-able can be a reality by 2025.
Images from Pixabay