The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said Thursday that the lack of rains in August forced it to fire up one of its thermal plants on the Pacific coast, ending a clean energy streak that attracted worldwide attention.In fact, it was the country’s second green streak this year. In August Costa Rica broke its own record by running 94 consecutive days exclusively on renewable energy. It set its previous record in March when it ended 75 days of renewables, ICE reported.During the second streak, between May and August, some 78 percent of the country’s electricity came from hydroelectric power plants; 12 percent from geothermal sources, 10 percent from wind power; and 0.01 percent from solar.But low water levels in the country’s reservoirs, mainly caused by drought in much of the territory, ended the green energy run. Hydroelectric plants supply some 72 percent of Costa Rica’s electricity needs, according to ICE.“The drop in rainfall forced us to use the Garabito thermal plant to meet peaks in electricity needs in late August,” ICE’s director of electricity generation Alberto Ramírez said Thursday in a public statement.Ramírez said reservoirs at Pirrís, south of San José, and Ventanas-Garita in Alajuela are the most affected by the lack of rainfall. ICE recorded a 74 percent decrease in the flow of the Pirrís River while an 80 percent decrease in the Virilla River is to blame for low levels at the Ventanas-Garita plant.Both ICE and National Meteorological Institute officials attribute this deficit to extreme weather conditions caused by the El Niño phenomenon that often produces drought in one part of the country and intense showers in another.ICE hopes reservoir levels will start to recover this month in order to avoid using thermal plants, which could lead to electricity rate hikes for its customers.But Ramírez said the country has enough fuel reserves to use thermal plants again, if necessary. “It will depend on the behavior of rainfall patterns during the rest of the year,” he said. “Then we will evaluate the need to buy more fuel to support thermal generation for the next dry season.”The state-owned National Power and Light Company last week requested an increase in electricity rates that, if approved, would raise basic rates for customers in the San José greater metropolitan area by 36 percent.ICE’s hydrology department forecasts a slight increase in rainfall levels during September and October. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica’s electricity mostly from renewable sources in 2016 Costa Rica prepared for this season’s harsh weather, energy officials say Construction of Central America’s biggest hydroelectric dam is nearly finished in Costa Rica Electricity rates for ICE customers to drop in January
Rail Europe Rail Europe’s new campaign includes a range of deals that agents can pass onto their clients … Agents are reminded to log onto the agent portal when booking.On the Thalys, agents with clients travelling in pairs from Paris to Brussels, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Schiphol Airport, Aachen, Dusseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Koeln or Dortmund over the autumn months can now pass on savings of up to 45%. Starting from AUD$82, bookings must be made by 28 February 2019 and travel completed between 31 March and 31 May 2019. Discount applies to 1st and Premier Classes.Agents with client darting between France and Spain on the France-Spain High Speed trains can now pass on up to 30% savings when booking by 27 February 2019. Travel must be completed between 14 February and 26 June 2019.In Germany, agents can pass on up to 10% off three and four-day German Rail Passes for travel between now and 31 May 2019. The offer applies to adults, twin and youth travellers. Bookings must be made by 31 March 2019.In Switzerland, agents can pass on one and two free travel days on the four and eight-day Swiss Travel Passes respectively. Valid for adult and youth passes in 1st and 2nd classes, bookings must be made by 28 March 2019 and travel completed by 30 September 2019.Agents booking their clients on Eurostar journeys can now save them up to 30% off one way fares. Starting from AUD$73 in Standard and AU$163 in Standard Premier, bookings must be made by 4 March 2019 and travel completed between 4 March and 9 September 2019.For larger itineraries, agents can issue their clients with 1st Class Eurail Global Pass priced at 2nd Class rates. The upgrade is across the board for adults, youth and senior travellers. Bookings must be made by 28 February 2019 and travel completed between now and 16 May 2019.Forex fluctuations and terms and conditions apply.IMAGE: Along the River Moselle in Germany
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