Costa Rica: Electricity from the barn

Costa Rica aims to be climate-neutral by 2021. An article in akzente magazine shows how a pig farm and a football stadium can help combat climate change.

Costa Rica is a model for a country going green – it aims to be climate neutral by 2021. Thus far policy-makers have focused primarily on hydropower. But climate change is leading to less rainfall, reducing the capacity of hydropower plants. This is opening up opportunities for other renewable energy sources.

One such opportunity is in Cartago: The pigs owned by Juan Carlos Saenz are among the most important biogas producers in Costa Rica. His farm has 25,000 pigs, making it one of the largest in the country. Each year it produces thousands of cubic metres of liquid manure and slaughterhouse waste, which the enterprise transforms into biogas. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH helped the farmer construct the required facility.

Another project for green energy is shining a light on the town of Alajuela, only 50 kilometres from the pig farm. The football club Liga Deportiva Alajuelense has installed a solar energy system on the roofs of its stadium’s stands. The article in akzente magazine explains how it was financed and what benefits the system brings.