Costa Rica to open Guanacaste for development

Costa Rica to open Guanacaste for development Playa Potrero Guanacaste, Costa Rica (source: flickr/ mdverde, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 31 Dec 2012

Costa Rica adapts legislation in order to allow geothermal development in the protected conservation area of Guanacaste.

Reported locally, Costa Rica could be seeing the development of another geothermal project in the country. This week,  the country’s Environment Commission chaired by Deputy Alfonso Pérez Gómez, “met and adopted a replacement text, in correspondance to the report affirmative subcommittee on Bill No. 17680 “Law for the Use of Geothermal Energy (harnessing steam fields in the earth to produce electricity) in the Guanacaste Conservation Area “.

Deputy Perez Gomez said “with those textual changes development of geothermal energy projects in the National Park Rincon de la Vieja could be allowed, providing enormous social benefits, but also adequate environmental safeguards, based on technical studies and based on rigorous environmental regulations.” 

To develop the geothermal project, ICE would be the developer, segregating an area of the National Park and technical studies be conducted to ensure that no irreparable damage to protected ecosystems are caused and financially rewards would go to SINAC and equip with a land adjacent and coextensive with characteristics for the conservation of biodiversity.

The legislator said: “the bill currently to be paid for oil for electricity generation will be six times cheaper and also in harmony with the conservation of natural resources, putting Costa Rica in the forefront in the utilization of geothermal, and increase the international standing as a country.”

The national geothermal potential is about 900 MW, with the areas of greatest potential located in the volcanic area of Guanacaste and the Central Volcanic Range, a study of the ICE determined, however, many of these areas are located in national parks.”

Source: Costa Rica On (in Spanish)