Nationwide Blackout, Rationing Left Country in The Dark
A spike in demand, an unusually parched dry season, and inefficiencies in the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) resulted in a nationwide blackout and emergency rationing that shook the nation in April.
The unplanned nationwide blackout and subsequent scheduled outages were the first in five years, prompting administration officials to talk about an energy crisis.
The outages also sparked widespread debate about whether the government should open the doors for increased private participation in the electricity sector, a government-run monopoly.
ICE, which oversees production and distribution of 80% of the country’s electricity, announced Costa Rica would need an additional 200 megawatts of capacity, or about a 10% increase, to meet electricity demand by 2008.
The Arias administration’s solution was to expedite construction of new thermal plants.
ICE, one of the government’s biggest bureaucracies, began its own energyrationing plan in July.
That same month, ICE head Pedro Pablo Quirós promised there wouldn’t be any rationing in 2008.
He said ICE would rely on more thermal energy and rented generators to get hydroelectric-dependent Costa Rica through the dry season.
You may be interested
Costa Rica’s snakebite research pioneers save lives worldwideMitzi Stark - May 23, 2018
The Clodomiro Picado Institute is spread along the main road of Dulce Nombre de Coronado, northeast of San José. Its…
Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean BushbyEllen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018
A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…