Costa Rica and IRENA Sign Partnership to Advance National Decarbonisation Plan

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Government of Costa Rica have signed an agreement to work together to strengthen the country’s decarbonisation plans and boost renewable energy project financing. The agreement was signed by His Excellency Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica and the IRENA Director-General, Francesco La Camera at the IRENA headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

During the meeting, the two discussed the creation of an investment roadmap to complement Costa Rica’s National Decarbonisation Plan 2018-2050. The plan will utilise IRENA’s upcoming Renewable Energy Roadmap for Central America to identify financing opportunities for major national projects, and support decision making around technology and regulatory frameworks.

The USD 1 billion Energy Transition Accelerator Financing Platform (ETAF), launched at COP26 in partnership with the United Arab Emirates, will represent a cornerstone of efforts to advance low-carbon development in the Central American country. With anchor funding of USD 400 million from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, IRENA’s ETAF will work closely with the Ministry of Environment and Energy in Costa Rica to bring affordable financing to suitable energy projects that advance Costa Rica’s decarbonisation goals.

“This partnership will help us continue our advance towards the ambitious goals of our National Decarbonisation Plan 2018-2050, in particular by fostering our efforts regarding green hydrogen production,” said President Alvarado Quesada. “It will also offer us a platform to share our well-known experience developing a robust and diverse renewable energy mix, with IRENA and its member countries,” concluded the President.

“Costa Rica is a global front runner in the pursuit of a decarbonised energy system, particularly in the electricity sector where the country has tapped its vast resources to build one of the cleanest power systems in the world,” said Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA. “Under this important partnership and with strong support from IRENA and its partners, Costa Rica can extend its renewable energy leadership into sectors such as transport and heating – the next frontier of the energy transition – to achieve its national decarbonisation goals and long-term economic objectives.”

Costa Rica has one of the cleanest power generation mixes in the world, generating more than 90 per cent of its electricity from renewables. However, under the country’s decarbonisation plan, it will eradicate the use of fossil fuels entirely by 2050, transforming its transport, heating, and industrial sectors in the process. In implementing its vision, Costa Rica will draw heavily from IRENA analyses and expertise to ensure investment flows support the objective.

During the meeting, President Alvarado Quesada and Director-General La Camera explored further areas of cooperation including in the context of the Collaborative Frameworks established by IRENA to facilitate a deeper level of knowledge sharing between IRENA member countries. Costa Rica already plays a key role as co-facilitator of the Framework on Hydropower and has shared an intention to join the Agency’s Framework on Green Hydrogen as part of national efforts to accelerate hydrogen efforts under the national hydrogen association, Alianza Por El Hidrogeno.

Under the agreement signed today, IRENA will work closely with the country’s hydrogen association and the Ministry of Environment and Energy to develop a hydrogen strategy that supports the achievement of Costa Rica’s National Decarbonisation Plan. IRENA’s strong and growing relationship with the private sector was highlighted as an attribute that can help advance Costa Rica’s plans for hydrogen adoption.