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Renewable Energy in Costa Rica Fred Loxsom November 8, 2002 Sustainable Development Rio Declaration on Environment and Development Principle 3 The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations. Sustainable Development Rio Declaration on Environment and Development Principle 9 States should cooperate to strengthen endogenous capacity-building for sustainable development by improving scientific understanding through exchanges of scientific and technological knowledge, and by enhancing the development, adaptation, diffusion and transfer of technologies, including new and innovative technologies. The Economic Base Economic Sector % GDP Agriculture 13 Industry 22 Commerce and Tourism 40 Costa Rica Natural Beaches Birdwatching Lizard Watching Volunteering Observing Natural Phenomena Being Observed as Unnatural Phenomena Studying Geothermal Studying Windpower Economic Indicators United States Costa Rica Population 280 million 3.8 million Growth Rate 0.80% 1.60% GDP (per capita) $36,300 $3,850 Gini Index 0.41 0.46 Oil (per capita) 26 bbl/year 3.7 bbl/year Auto (per capita) 44% 34% Imported Oil 55% 100% Electricty (per capita) 13,000 kWh 1,500 kWh Electricity Generation United States Costa Rica Electricty (per capita) 13,000 kWh 1,500 kWh Demand Growth 2% 5% Fossil Fuel 71% 1% Nuclear 20% 0% Hydroelectric 7% 83% Geothermal 1% 14% Wind 1% 2% Electricity Generation Costs Electricity Generation Cost (¢/kWh) Oil 1% 26 Geothermal 14% 3.5 Hydroelectric 82% 2.2 Wind 3% ? Potential Generation Capacity Installed Potential Capacity Capacity (MW) (MW) Oil 240 0? Geothermal 140 900 Hydroelectric 1200 10,000 Wind 46 >600 Hydrocarbons Imported. Expensive Negative environmental impacts Geothermal Local resource Inexpensive Renewable? Some negative environmental impacts. Compatible with Eco-tourism? Hydroelectric Local resource Renewable Capital Intensive Some negative environmental impacts. Wind Local resource Renewable Unknown expense Imported equipment Some negative environmental impacts. Is Solar Energy An Option? Local Resource Renewable Imported equipment Cost? Insolation Map Insolation Map Insolation Average insolation ranges from 4.0 kWh/m2/day to 5.4 kWh/m2/day Assume 5.0 kWh/m2/day or 1,800 kWh/ m2/year Which Solar Option? Hot Water Systems? Process heat? We will only consider Photovoltaic Why Photovoltaic? Converts sunlight directly into electricity. Can stand alone. Very reliable. Modular. Solar Panel Output Assume efficiency = 14% Output = 0.14 x 5.0 kWh/m2/day = 0.70 kWh/m2/day = 365 day/year x 0.70 kWh/m2/day = 255 kWh/m2/year Solar System Size Yearly Growth = 0.05 x 1500 kWh = 75 kWh Panel Area Needed = 75 kWh / 255 kWh/m2 = 0.30 m2 Array Size = 1000 W/m2 x 0.30 m2 x 0.14 = 42 W Need to add 42 Watt capacity per person – equivalent to 3 square feet. Solar Economics Array cost = $5 / Watt System cost = $10 / Watt Per capita cost = 42 Watt x $10 / Watt = $420 This represents 10% of the GDP Cost of Solar Electricity Assume very simple economics – System lasts 25 years and cost is spread evenly over 20 years. Neglect inflation and interest. Output = 75 kWh / year System Cost = $420 / 20 year = $21 / year Electricity cost = $21 / 75 kWh = 28 cents/kWh Conclusions? Photovoltaic is expensive. Uses imported equipment. Environmentally benign. Compatible with eco-tourism. Good for remote locations with no grid. Being installed in national parks. Compatible with Hydrogen Economy.
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