When writing about the energy transition, one generally forgets that it’s not always about hard facts and debating the best policy solution that reaches a desired outcome, but that it’s the people who make the transition – the people who make the story. Rececca Bertram tells such a story of three indigenous women from remote areas in Costa Rica who push for an energy transition thereby increasing the quality of life in their entire respective communities.
Costa Rica enjoys widespread international fame for being one of the “greenest” countries on earth. The small Central American state has repeatedly been praised for its outstanding efforts in combating climate change, for its reforestation efforts and for generating almost all its electricity from renewable energy sources. Though the government has adopted an ambitious economic plan to make the country carbon neutral by the middle of the century, “green” policies are sometimes not as rosy as they seem. Rebecca Bertram reports from San José.
Throughout Latin America, tenders and auctions have been a particularly popular mechanism to push the development of renewables. But communities who could benefit from local renewable energy projects are often excluded, says Maximiliano Proaño.
Greening the transportation sector is crucial, but it often takes a backseat to renewable energy. In Costa Rica, legislators are increasingly pushing better public transit to try and meet Paris Agreement goals, Sebastian Rodriguez reports.
Costa Rica is known for its renewable-friendly policies and ambitious goals to lower emissions. But as Bjørn Utgård and Mónica Araya explain, electric mobility is a key part of reducing greenhouse gases. Public transit, affordable electric vehicles and infrastructure will all be crucial for Costa Rica’s energy transition.
If you think the idea of shifting to 100% clean energy is still farfetched, think again. There are already countries that have virtually abandoned all fossil fuels. These are not necessarily the popular cases you usually read about, but they have shown the world that it is indeed possible to run a country without having to rely on fossil fuels.
Energy efficiency measures are low hanging fruits to achieve more sustainable energy systems. Still, the topic is not very high on the political agenda in Latin America. A new study compares progress made by the countries in the region and names best practices. Sandra Guzman summarizes the findings.
Paris-based renewables organization REN21 has published the latest edition of its annual Global Status Report. The 2014 edition finds that, while Europe and North America have become roller coaster markets for renewables, developing and emerging countries have picked up the slack and could be the future leaders. Craig Morris investigates.