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CLEAN BUT NOT GREEN: GEOTHERMAL DEVELOPERS IN COSTA RICA AT ODDS WITH ENVIRONMENTALISTS

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/11022

CLEAN BUT NOT GREEN: GEOTHERMAL DEVELOPERS IN COSTA RICA AT ODDS WITH ENVIRONMENTALISTS

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Title: CLEAN BUT NOT GREEN: GEOTHERMAL DEVELOPERS IN COSTA RICA AT ODDS WITH ENVIRONMENTALISTS
Author: NotiCen writers
Subject(s): GEOTHERMAL DEVELOPERS
clean but not green
geothermal
Costa Rica
Central America
production wind
Inter-American Development Bank
IDB
energy
Ormat Technologies
Benco Centroamericano de Integracion Economica
BCIE
Las Pailas geothermal plant
Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad
ICE
Miravalles V
renewable power
national parks
public water rights
fragile ecosystems
Poas volcano zone
Pailas project
Borinquen
Wildlife Preservation Association
APREFLOFAS
ICE
Blue Print for Green Energy
renewable energy
Ormat
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
Clean Development Mechanism
CDM
UNFCCC
carbon reduction
sustainable development
Certified Emission Reduction
Abstract: Costa Rica leads Central America in the production of wind and geothermal energy and has been lauded for its progress in renewable power projects while others flounder. A new report prepared for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), A Blueprint for Green Energy in the Americas 2009, faulted Latin America in general for governmental failure to provide the regulatory frameworks and supportive policies needed to field renewable projects, and for reluctance to take risks in the energy sectors because of the lack of development. Only Costa Rica stood out as an exception on the isthmus and, in the hemisphere, was joined by Chile and Brazil as standouts in the field. But now Costa Rica is running up against another of its trademark values, environmentalism, in its attempt to tap even more ecologically sound power. In January, Ormat Technologies, Inc. announced the signing of a contract with Banco Centroamericano de Integracion Economica (BCIE) "for the supply, supervision, installation, startup, and testing of Las Pailas Geothermal Plant, a new geothermal power plant that is to be constructed in Las Pailas Field, Costa Rica." The press release valued the project for the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) at US$65 million and projected the time to completion at 18 months. There is little objection to what the government is doing to generate renewable power, but there is concern about where it is doing it. In November 2008, the legislature rejected a proposal to allow geothermal development in national parks. The same phenomena that produce power--hot water, live magma, volcanoes--also produce tourism and foreign exchange. These are not places suitable to industrial infrastructure with pipe-work jungles, pumps, turbines, and noise.
Date: 2009-03-12
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/11022

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