After many years of back and forth between the utilities companies, government bodies and a conscious group of people who want renewable energy in Costa Rica there is finally a framework to implement renewable energy into our lives.
The major utility companies were basically the road block. They saw this as competition instead of a collaboration.
Now however, we have a net metering program that allows the extra energy you produce from your renewable energy system to be pumped back into the existing utility grid.
The utilities are not as nice as we would like though and have seen the need to charge a fee for anyone downloading the energy that was previously injected into the system. They say its for the cost of the existing infrastructure they have and maintenance. I can see their point I guess, but they fail to see that injecting free energy into their system decreases their need to produce energy during peak demand hours.
The fee ranges from 8 colones to 28 colones per Kwh you download depending on the area you are in.
There are a series of applications, studies and fees that need to be paid, but that is par for the course here or anywhere. Hey at least we can now generate renewable energy and use their system as a battery for over production.
As battery storage becomes more affordable though the need to connect to the existing grid will decrease and then the utility companied will be signing a different tune and eventually be supporters of a 1 to 1 net metering program.
I have taken it upon myself to become educated with all the nuances related to renewable energy applications here in Costa Rica and am starting to install them on a few of my projects. I think it will be very common to have these systems especially as the world environment changes.
Step softly on this earth, listen, learn and act.