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10. Costa Rica is setting the standard on renewable energy Is it possible to meet a modern nation’s energy needs without any fossil-fuel consumption? Yes. Costa Rica has been doing it. To be fair, that country’s main industries — tourism and agriculture — are not energy-intensive, and heavy rainfall in the first part of the year made it possible for the country to rely heavily on its hydropower resources. But even in normal years, Costa Rica generates 90 percent of its energy without burning any fossil fuels. Iceland also produces the vast majority of its energy from renewable sources. The transition to 100 percent renewables will be harder for larger countries. But as the limited reporting on Costa Rica notes, it’s possible to take significant steps in that direction. Tim Redmond, the former editor of the defunct San Francisco Bay Guardian, runs a California-based nonprofit news website called 48 Hills.
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OCTOBER 15, 2015 INLANDER 27