Quantcast

Nicaragua Joins Clean Energy Revolution, Vows 90% Renewables by 2020

Business

Costa Rica is well-known for its ambitious development of renewable energy, but neighboring country Nicaragua has been charging ahead on renewables, too. The country doesn't produce its own oil and has historically been dependent on foreign imports. But the country is trying to change all of that by tapping into its natural resources—strong winds, bright sunshine and its 19 volcanoes.

Nicaraguan officials have set goals of 75 percent renewable energy by 2017 and 90 percent by 2020, ProNicaragua reported. An International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report from January 2015 found that “Nicaragua’s renewable energy sector has a bright future, both for utility-scale and small-scale projects, due to the country’s largely untapped renewable resources.”

Javier Pentzke, manager of Amayo Wind Farm, told NPR his farm's location on the shores of Lake Nicaragua is one of the top places in the world for wind energy. "You have all the opening here from the lake all the way to the Caribbean, so it's like a tunnel," he said. "And it's very steady. It's not too gusty."

As of June 2015, renewables made up 54 percent of all electricity production and 80 percent of the country had reliable access to the grid.

Just 10 years ago, the 64 percent of Nicaraguans with grid access regularly lost power for 4 to 5 hours per day, and only 25 percent of electricity came from renewable sources. Even just a few years ago, 12-hour blackouts were still common. But that's all starting to change.

When Daniel Ortega assumed the presidency in 2007, he made the bold decision to invest heavily in renewables. "During the 2006-2012 period, the Central American country attracted $1.5 million in investment in renewable energy," ProNicaragua reported. "In 2012, Nicaragua invested the fifth highest percentage worldwide of its GDP in developing renewable energy, according to the Renewables 2014 Global Status Report."

According to last year's report from IRENA, from 2006 to 2012, 15 percent of Nicaragua's electricity came from wind, 16 percent from geothermal, 12 percent from hydropower and 7 percent from biomass. ProNicaragua puts the latest wind estimates at 20 to 30 percent of total electricity generation. And the country has barely begun to tap into its solar potential.

This video from NowThis sums up Nicaragua's energy revolution:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Costa Rica Powers 285 Days of 2015 With 100% Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy Soars Amid Plummeting Fossil Fuel Prices

World’s First Solar-Hydrogen Residential Development Is 100% Self-Sustaining

Koch Brothers Sneak Anti-Wind Op-Ed Past New York Times

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

orientalizing / Flickr

The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.

Read More Show Less

The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro is giving President Trump a run for his money in the alternative facts department.

Read More Show Less
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivered his 2019 State of the State address on Jan. 15. Governor Jay and First Lady Trudi Inslee / Flickr

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who made solving the climate crisis the center of his presidential campaign, is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic primary race.

Read More Show Less
Earthjustice

By Robert Valencia

In April 2018, Afro-Colombian activist Francia Márquez won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, thanks to her work to retake her community's ancestral territories from illegal gold mining. However, her international recognition comes at a very risky price.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Stuart Braun

A year after activist Greta Thunberg first stood in the rain outside the Swedish parliament with her now iconic "Skolstrejk för klimatet" — school strike for the climate — placard, the movement she spawned has set the tone for environmental protest action around the world.

Read More Show Less
Bruno Vincent / Staff / Getty Images

Toy maker Hasbro wants to play in the eco-packaging game. The board game giant will ditch its plastic packaging by 2022. The move means that games like Monopoly, Scrabble and Operation will no longer have shrink wrap, window sheets, plastic bags or elastic bands, as the Associated Press reported.

Read More Show Less
Vaping impaired the circulatory systems of people in a new study. bulentumut / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Vaping one time — even without nicotine — can damage blood vessels, reduce blood flow and create dangerous toxins, according to a new study published in the journal Radiology.

Read More Show Less