Costa Rica

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Information about bioenergy and biofuels in Costa Rica. (See the experimental page in Spanish.)



  • 1 April 2009, The Jatropha Harvest Experience "will bring together Jatropha producers, investors, regulators, project owners and equipment providers to experience - hands on, and discuss the complete Jatropha process."[1]
  • 5 October 2008, MINAET Environment and Health Fair: Paseo Colon from 08:00 a 14:00. 100,000 trees donated by Grupo ICE will be distributed and electric cars will be on exhibit.


Note: Steve Engler is blogging about the trials and tribulations of Costa Rica's biofuels world while he's down there for a year. Follow it at The Biofuels Rockstar.



  • Costa Rica Energy Crisis, by Blake Schmidt, Tico Times, May 11, 2007. Explores Costa Rica's efforts to confront its energy use.
  • Bioenergy Technology Evaluation and Potential in Costa Rica[4], by Suvi Huttunen and Ari Lampinen. Copyright University of Jyvaskyla. In collaboration with CATIE in Costa Rica and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. 2005.



  • National Biofuels Program (in Spanish) Executive Summary, Coordinated by the Ministry of Environment and Energy, with participation of the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Commission on Biofuels, February 2008.


  • Gasoline blended with ethanol was sold without warning to consumers (Spanish original), La Nación, [6], 28 April 2009. RECOPE explained that 30 million liters of ethanol were blended with gasoline as an oxygenate in substitution of MTBE, as already had bought ethanol for the official blending that was postponed. There were complaints because consumers were not aware of this blending. The unannounced ethanol blending took place during the months of February and March.[7]
  • Introduction of ethanol blend postponed again (Spanish original), La Nación, [8], 4 March 2009. RECOPE must store 50,000 barrels of ethanol bought from Brazilian PETROBRAS because of additional delays in the implementation of the government's biofuels plan. This is the fourth postponement since the government announced that the introduction of a gasohol blend of 7% ethanol. Again the delay is due to the fact that fueling stations are not ready yet. Fuel retailers announced they will be ready by November 2009.
  • Tico Times - Guanacaste power company announces outages - Sept. 26, 2008 - In the face of too much demand, Coopeguanacaste, the electrical cooperative in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, on Thursday began a new wave of six-hour electrical outages in El Coco and Ocotal.
  • La Nación - ICE plans 46% average electric rate increase (Spanish original) - Sept. 23, 2008 - ICE asked Aresep (Public Servics Regulatory Authority) to approve rate increases for residential, commercial and industrial customers. The 46% includes a 15% increase requested in August which is still pending approval. Distribution rates would also increase by 56%. The reasons given for the rate increase are the cost of diesel, inflation and lack of funds for investments.
  • IDB Biofuels Sustainability Scorecard, "The Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Initiative (SECCI) and the Structured and Corporate Finance Department (SCF) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have created a Biofuels Sustainability Scorecard based on the sustainability criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels. The primary objective of the Scorecard is to encourage higher levels of sustainability in biofuels projects by providing a tool to think through the range of complex issues associated with biofuels. Since the scientific debate around these complex issues continues to evolve, the Scorecard should be seen as a work-in-process and will continue to be updated and revised as needed. Comments can be submitted at the end of filling out the Scorecard."[10]
  • Arias explores technology for biofuel production in Brazil, La Nación, [11], August 1 2008. As part of his official visit to Brazil, President Oscar Arias, visited a sugar-ethanol plant, from Moema Group, at San Jose de Ri­o Preto, Sao Paulo. The visit allowed him to know the technologies used for biofuel production and electric power generation from sugar cane waste (bagasse). Costa Rica is looking forward to the opportunity to enter into clean energies, particularly from sugar cane bagasse, according to a press release by the Presidential Office.
  • Prsident Lula promises aid to Costa Rica to produce biofuels, La Nación, [12], July 31 2008. Brazil's President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, promised technical and technological support for Costa Rica to produce biofuels. Lula da Silva said that Costa Rica has the conditions to lead a "biofuel revolution in Central America." He also emphasized the country's environmental sustainability and long tradition with sugar cane crops. Lula da Silva confirmed his visit to Costa Rica early next year. The presidents signed 10 agreements of technical cooperation offered by Brazil since 1997, among which, is the agreement to provide assistance in biofuel production.
  • LAICA increases ethanol production at plant by 25-30%. LAICA, the Costa Rican sugar producers association, is making moves to increase ethanol processing by 25-30% in accordance with the new terms of CAFTA, the free trade agreement with the US. La Nacion, April 7, 2008.
  • China to explore for oil in Costa Rica, La Nación, November 7, 2007. Despite unsuccessful past efforts to find oil, many of which have faced opposition from environmental groups, Recope and PetroChina see renewed potential. Also includes a timeline of past drilling efforts in Costa Rica.
  • Recope estudia desistir de licitacion para ampliar refineria, La Nacion, November 2, 2007. The details of Recope (state oil company's) deal with PetroChina to refurbish oil refinery at Moin, Limon, Costa Rica. Would double capacity of oil production to 40,000 barrels per day. Peace with nature? Carbon neutrality by 2021? This is not the first step.
  • Seeing Sugar's Future in Fuel, New York Times, October 18, 2007. How sugarcane production and trade in the aftermath of NAFTA is panning out in the United States. Food for thought regarding CAFTA.
  • SÍ, 51,5%; NO, 48,5%, La Nacion, October 7, 2007. Costa Rica passes CAFTA. What might the future hold for Costa Rica's future ethanol production and exportation?
  • The Age of Ethanol?. By Paul Constance, IDBAmerica, Magazine of the Inter-American Development Bank, August 2006.


Governmental organizations

  • Presidencia de la Republica de Costa Rica [13]
  • Ministerio de Ambiente y Energia de Costa Rica (MINAE) [14]
    • La Oficina de la Estrategia Nacional de Cambio Climatico (ENCC) [15]
  • ICE (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad) [16]
    • CNFL (Compania Nacional de Fuerza y Luz)[17]
  • Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganaderia (MAG) [19]

Nongovernmental organizations

In Costa Rica

  • Costa Rica National Cleaner Production Centre [20]
  • The Omar Dengo Foundation [24]
  • BUN-CA [25] Focused on energy efficiency and renewable energies.


  • Inter-American Development Bank [26]
  • Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) [27]
  • The Worldwatch Institute [28]
  • Global Environment Facility [29]
  • International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) [30]
  • Ibero-American Model Forest Network [31]
  • The Katoomba Group [33] Promotion and improvement capacity related to markets and payments for ecosystem services


  • Ingenio Taboga S.A.
  • Ingenio CATSA (Ctrl. Azucarera del Tempisque)
  • Energias Biogradables, Ochomongo, Cartago
  • Shell Oil Company [34]
  • Corbana (Corporacion Banadera Nacional) [36]
  • Ad Astra Rocket Company [38]
  • CentralBiodiesel [39]


In Costa Rica

  • Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigacion y Ensenanza (CATIE) [40]
  • Earth University [41]
  • INCAE Business School [42]


  • Harvard University
  • Berkeley


Costa Rica edit
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En español
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