Costa Rica Making First Offshore Wind Moves

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the Vice-ministry of Energy and Environmental Quality (MINAE) of Ministry of Environment, and Energy and Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) have kicked-off a joint initiative to build knowledge about the local benefits of offshore wind and explore pathways for its future development and growth in Costa Rica.

The closed-door workshop, which takes place on 1 and 2 September, brings together representatives from across the public and private sector and key stakeholders in Costa Rica, to enhance understanding of the scope of benefits, costs, and other challenges and opportunities for offshore wind development in the country.

With a total offshore wind technical potential of 14 GW, of which near of 1 GW is fixed-bottom offshore wind and 13 GW is floating offshore wind, Costa Rica has the potential to become a first-mover for offshore wind in Central America, GWEC said.

”Costa Rica has been a leader in renewable energy and sustainability for years,” Ben Backwell, CEO of Global Wind Energy Council, said.

”Now it is time for the country to lead again by kick-starting the offshore wind sector in Central America. Tapping into Costa Rica’s offshore wind potential will help the country to cement its position as a decarbonisation pioneer of the region, while securing socioeconomic benefits for local communities and building a thriving local economy. We are pleased to work together with the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment and Energy and Costa Rican Electricity Institute on this important initiative to build the foundation for a thriving the future offshore wind industry in the country.”

Costa Rica is currently producing 99 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy sources and plans to maintain that percentage in the future.

”In the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity, the country start to boost a non-conventional renewable energy portfolio with a road map on offshore wind energy. We know that ocean energy must overcome a number or challenges to prove the reliability, affordability and accessibility,” Rolando Castro, Vice minister of Energy and Environmental Quality (MINAE), said.

”Despite this, the offshore wind represents a source of plentiful energy potential, able to drive a blue economy and provide significant socio-economic opportunities, such as jobs creation, improved livelihoods, local value chains and enhanced synergies between coastal stakeholders. Thanks to all national and international experts who attended these workshops. We know that offshore wind is already enjoying exponential growth and represents a mid-term energy source that will generate national prosperity.”

Photo: Siemens Gamesa/Illustration