Despite drought, Costa Rica's electricity stays clean - but not cheap

The Central American nation relies on hydropower, but investing in extra capacity to keep the lights on during dry periods has saddled its utility with rising debt.

Despite a harsh drought this year, Costa Rica - which relies heavily on hydropower - has been able to keep its electricity production almost entirely renewable.

The dry spell, which ended in May, was the first big test of an ambitious push for clean energy, said Javier Orozco, planning director at the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the state-owned power and telecoms provider.

The Central American nation needs clean electricity to meet its climate goal of achieving net-zero planet-warming emissions by 2050.