Energy Planning in Costa Rica

Rasmus Saldern Antonsen

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This thesis examines how energy planning can be structured to accommodate solutions to the difficulties regarding the security of supply of electricity that Costa Rica currently suffers from. The analysis in the thesis has its’ outset in the backcasting concept, which has been chosen as the general methodology. An aggregated model of the backcasting method for planning has been made in order to fit the area of research. This methodological choice is also the foundation for the structure of the thesis. Firstly an analysis of the electricity sector in Costa Rica uncovers the principal chal- lenges related to the technologies currently used to cover the demand. Subsequently, according to the principles of backcasting, the desired state for the elec- tricity sector is defined. In this part of the thesis the electricity sector as it should be characterized in the view of the author, to avoid having the same problems as the current state of the sector has, are presented. It is concluded that a need to diminish the dominant role of hydropower in the electricity production is of the utmost importance for Costa Rica. This is due to the heavy seasonal variations in power output that this source of energy is subject to in Costa Rica. The unilateral use of hydropower as the basis for electricity generation is determined to be the main culprit for the countries difficulties regarding the security of supply. An analysis and discussion on how to enhance the capabilities of the energy planning system in Costa Rica is performed in order to pinpoint specific areas where actions can be taken in order to increase the exploit of non-hydropower renewable energy. The study concludes that the municipalities should have an active role in the energy planning in Costa Rica, by formulating local energy plans, with the prospects of closer ties to potential actors that can contribute to the expansion of non-hydropower renewables through a bottom-up implementation. The formation of a national Renewable Energy Knowledge Center is proposed to support the municipalities in mapping of resources and formulation of local energy plans. The center should also assume the role of support for future project developers seeking to install renewable energy technologies. The purpose of the proposed center is to both function as a consultancy services to the parties mentioned above but to also take on an investigative role.

UddannelserTekSam - miljøplanlægning, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato28 feb. 2013
VejledereJan Andersen & Ole Erik Hansen


  • renewable energy
  • backcasting
  • green growth
  • energy planning
  • energy security
  • Costa Rica