Natural resources and energy
The mining sector is small in Costa Rica and
the only minerals that have been mined in recent years
are gold and silver. Hydropower accounts for most of the
electricity supply. There are probably significant oil
reserves, but they are not exploited, partly because of
strong environmental resistance.
Mineral extraction has also been stopped for
environmental reasons. Since 2010, it has in principle
been prohibited to break gold in mining. A Canadian
company that had gold mining rights has threatened to
sue Costa Rica for a billion dollars for breach of
contract and non-profits.
Major exports by Costa Rica with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Costa Rica also has mineral deposits, including
bauxite, iron, copper, lead and limestone, but no
Oil is found off the Caribbean coast. The resistance
to oil drilling is great, but the profitability of any
extraction has previously also been questioned. However,
a temporary ban on oil drilling was introduced in 2011
and has been extended once, to 2021. However, an
agreement between the state oil company Recope (Refinadora
costarricense de petróleo) and a Chinese company to
expand the refining capacity has aroused suspicion of
plans to search oil and gas in the sea. For now, all oil
Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, CR stands for Costa Rica. Visit itypeusa for more information about Costa Rica.
Oil and natural gas used for transport and heating
account for almost 70 percent of total energy
consumption. Almost all electricity, on the other hand,
comes from renewable sources. In 2018, the state
electricity company announced that for four consecutive
years, the country has managed to manage 98 percent of
its electricity supply without fossil fuels.
Hydropower accounts for almost three quarters of
electricity generation. About 15 percent comes from
wind power, while 8 percent is extracted from
volcanoes, and a smaller proportion through biomass.
There is potential for export of electricity to
neighboring countries. Costa Rica is part of a common
Central American electricity grid.
Costa Rica has plans to become the world's first
carbon-neutral country in 2021. That would mean that the
Costa Ricans do not release more carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere than they care for, including by planting
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
1,031 kilograms of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
1958 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
7 759 thousand tons (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
1.6 tonnes (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
38.7 percent (2015)
Prison for ex-president
Former President Rafael Ángel Calderón (1990-1994) is
sentenced to five years in prison for corruption. The
sentence is later reduced to three years in prison.
Costa Rica and Cuba resume relations
President Óscar Arias announces that Costa Rica will
reestablish relations with Cuba, which was broken in