Costa Rica submits geothermal direct use legislation for consultation

Costa Rica submits geothermal direct use legislation for consultation Las Pailas plant, Costa Rica (source: Ormat)
Alexander Richter 5 Dec 2021

Costa Rica's Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) has released a Law for the direct use of geothermal resources for consultation with stakeholders.

Costa Rica has a significant potential of geothermal resources that to date have been partially used, due to barriers to their use, the main one being the lack of a country regulatory framework that allows it. Geothermal resources can be used in a wide variety of productive activities, in industrial, agricultural, commercial and residential sectors among others, with the advantage of being a clean, renewable and national energy, which can contribute to the economic development of various regions of the world. country and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In response to this situation and in order to submit for consultation the content of the bill proposal for the direct use of geothermal resources, the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) held a technical analysis session on the bill for the direct use of geothermal resources on December 2, 2021. Stakeholders participated in the activity, as well as other actors that would eventually be involved in the procedures established in the bill.

“We trust that this law will favor not only the process of decarbonization of the national energy matrix, but also the green economic reactivation, especially in rural areas that will be able to take advantage of the resource in many different ways to increase the added value of their products,” contributing to its economic and social development ”, commented the Vice Minister of Energy and Environmental Quality, Rolando Castro.

The proposed law for the direct use of geothermal resources is the result of a process that began in 2019 with the Dialogue Workshop on the use of hydrothermal resources (low temperature geothermal energy). The objective of this workshop was to discuss with different actors about a geothermal policy, taking into account the characteristics of this resource, its potentialities and risks.

With the results obtained, a content proposal was prepared for the regulatory framework that served as the basis for conducting a legal study, which generated the inputs that allowed the formulation of the bill for the direct use of geothermal resources. The formulation process was coordinated by the Energy Subsector Planning Secretariat (SEPSE).

The next step after this consultation process consists of incorporating the necessary adjustments to the bill in order to present it to the Legislative Assembly in March 2022 for its respective approval process.

Throughout the process, it has had the support of the German Cooperation, specifically the Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency Program (4E) in Central America, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation. and Development of Germany (BMZ).

Source: MINAE Costa Rica