Thursday, November 12, 2015

Costa Rica: Bill Could Allow Geothermal Energy Development in National Parks

Costa Rica legislature to hear bill allowing ‘green’ geothermal projects in national parks (The Tico Times)

Despite declarations from the executive branch that the Costa Rican government will not pursue geothermal electricity development in national parks, the office of governing Citizen Action Party (PAC) legislator Ottón Solís is working on a bill to allow it in three volcanic protected areas.

The bill would address conservationists’ concerns over exploiting Rincón de la Vieja, Tenorio and Arenal national parks by developing geothermal capacity in the parks in conjunction with the National System of Conservation Areas, or SINAC, in a way that conforms to the conservation goals of the protected areas, said Rodolfo Cordero, an aide to lawmaker Solís.

The bill would require the Costa Rica Electricity Institute, or ICE – which would develop the volcano’s geothermal electricity capacity – to compensate land used for the projects with land outside the parks.