The small country of Costa Rica has a lesson in renewable energy for the rest of the world and actor Robert Redford has a solution you can afford.
Costa Rica has accomplished something that no country has before. The entire country has been running for 113 days on only renewable energy. This is possible due to hydroelectric energy from an abundant rainy season, geothermal energy from volcanoes, and wind energy from wind turbines.
According to the Costa Rican Electricity Institute, ICE, there are plans to build three more geothermal plants for $958 million. This will allow the country to go even longer on renewable energy, the goal being a full year. In comparison, the U.S. gets 9.8% of its energy from renewable sources, according to the Institute for Energy Research.
The 4.8 million inhabitants of Costa Rica are now leaving less of a carbon footprint, and it is actually costing them less. Since the switch to renewable energy, prices have dropped. Power from the geothermal plants could cost as little as five cents per kilowatt-hour, says the executive president of ICE, Teofilo de la Torre, according to the Tico Times. The average residential cost of electricity in Georgia in 2014 was almost 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
ROBERT REDFORD’S SOLUTION
Most Americans would welcome a drop in energy prices. Many Americans have made a push for renewable energy, especially actor Robert Redford. He has put a large amount of effort into making sure his resort is at the forefront of environmental innovation. Sundance Mountain Resort was built with locally sourced materials and the wood was even stained using coffee instead of chemical stains.
Redford’s resort doesn’t run entirely on renewable energy, but it uses an energy offset plan that could be the solution we need. They’re called renewable energy credits.
RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDITS
Renewable energy credits are a resource from Renewable Choice that allow companies and individuals to purchase wind energy credits that offset their use of energy from fossil fuels. By investing in wind energy consumers have the power to increase the amount of clean energy circulating in the U.S. power grid.
Most families do not have the money or resources necessary to make a home that runs on renewable energy. Renewable Choice makes sure they don’t have to. Purchasing a “family plan” for $15 a month, means that all the energy a family uses is replaced with clean wind energy. The money also allows wind energy companies to expand, so that one day it might be more affordable to have a home that actually runs off of clean energy.
Many countries, including the U.S. are looking to Costa Rica as a great example of the future of renewable energy. Companies like Renewable Choice and people like Robert Redford believe that renewable energy credits are a good way to get there. Investing in renewable energy may not save you any money at first, but with Costa Rica as an example, it is certainly an investment that could pay off big time.
*Photos courtesy of biography.com and the U.S. Department of Energy*