The country of Costa Rica ran on 99 percent renewable energy in 2015

google wind energy part mvd mvd6726308 1 0
As arguments rage on over whether global warming is anthropogenic or not, the country of Costa Rica just one-upped the rest of the world and achieved 99 percent renewable energy during 2015. Primarily making use of its large river systems and heavy annual rainfall, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) formally announced that 285 days were fossil fuel-less this past year. Moreover, ICE even said 2015 was a relatively dry year for Costa Rica, indicating a potentially easy path for other countries to achieve similar success.

Despite the positivity stemming from such an accomplishment, the country isn’t complacent. Instead, The Costa Rican government remains focused on becoming completely carbon neutral by 2021. In addition to going carbon neutral and officially achieving 100 percent renewable energy, it also plans on cleaning up energy consumption as a whole, staying particularly concentrated on removing fossil fuel dependence from its transportation sector. It also intends on moving away from hydropower dependence by increasing its number of geothermal plants and finding energy from other sources.

An efficient container home in Costa Rica
An efficient container home in Costa Rica Benjamin Garcia Saxe

“We are closing 2015 with renewable electricity milestones that have put us in the global spotlight,” says ICE electricity division chief Luis Pacheco.

Costa Rica’s citizens have also benefitted greatly from the switch, as the cost of energy has reportedly fallen as much as 12 percent in 2015 — and ICE expects it drop even further in the future. These reduced energy prices allow the country’s residents to pocket a small bit of money that would otherwise be going toward their power bills each month.

Though Costa Rica’s accomplishment could pave the way for more countries to follow suit, it is worth noting the entire country’s population (as of 2013) sits at roughly 4.8 million people. For comparison’s sake, New York City has roughly 8.5 million people (as estimated in 2014), which is just a hair shy of double Costa Rica’s figure. Still, Costa Rica’s recent accomplishment should serve as the model for reducing reliance on fossil fuels and finding an answer to global warming.

Smart Home

Restaurants may soon have chefs who know all about you before you walk in the door

At Seattle’s Addo, chef Eric Rivera gives pop-up-style restaurants a permanent home, and he leverages everything from Instagram to a ticketing service to bring in customers.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Movies & TV

September brings 'The Dragon Prince,' an animated war series, to Netflix

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX to send Japanese billionaire on moon trip, but he won’t be going alone

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has named Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa as the first paying passenger for the company's ambitious 2023 moon mission aboard the Big Falcon Rocket.
Emerging Tech

Smart sound system will give every car passenger their own wireless audio stream

Can't agree on what to listen to in the car? Imagine if each passenger could get their own way, courtesy of a personal audio stream — no headphones required. Sounds impossible, but it's almost here.
Emerging Tech

Japanese billionaire faces tricky task of choosing 8 artists for his moon trip

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has been named as SpaceX's first-ever paying passenger for a trip to the moon in 2023. He says he wants to take eight artists with him. But how will he choose them? And will they accept?
Emerging Tech

Crazy vending machine swaps computer art for your permanent selfie

Coder artist Matthias Dörfelt's camera-equipped vending machine swaps unique prints of computer-generated faces for the rights to upload your selfie onto the main Ethereum blockchain.
Emerging Tech

No more scraping? Anti-frosting advance could mark end of frozen windshields

Hate frozen windshields in winter? Researchers at Virginia Tech may have found a way to banish them for good, thanks to the world’s first passive anti-frosting surface. Here's how it works.
Smart Home

Who needs Stitch Fix? Maison Me uses A.I. to custom design clothing just for you

With backing from Google, a new Silicon Valley-based startup called Maison Me is offering A.I.-assisted, designed-to-order clothing. It's like a personal styling service on steroids.
Emerging Tech

Swiss researcher offers blueprints for animal-friendly autonomous machines

A scientist worries that our high-tech future fails to consider the well-being of other creatures: "Machine ethics has so far concentrated almost exclusively on automatic actions that affect people."
Emerging Tech

The Flamethrower Diet is better than keto and I burned all this food to prove it

When I first caught word that Elon Musk's Boring Company was selling a fully-functional flamethrower, I knew right away that I wanted to use it as a replacement for all of my modern cooking appliances. Why use a microwave when you can use a…
Computing

Facebook appears set on crafting custom silicon for augmented reality devices

Facebook's latest job postings are seeking engineers and developers for custom augmented reality chipsets, and seem to support speculation that the company is looking to produce AR glasses.
Emerging Tech

Don’t be fooled — this automated system sneakily manipulates video content

In the vein of “deep fakes," Recycle-GAN, a new system from Carnegie Mellon University, presents another case for how difficult it will be to distinguish fiction from reality in the future.