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Possible Pipeline & Other Energy Reserves . . .


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Sadly, Costa Rica is slowly dying - production/assembly lines have been shut down because of the high cost of electricity, the country is bankrupt, infrastructure is crumbling, and other examples too numerous to discuss here. I'm am personally aware that precious metals mining in the country is alive and well, and is a highly lucrative business - problem is that it is on such a small scale that it has no economic impact!! Many avenues are available to the government here as a solution, however with no visión for the future the plight of the Costa Ricans and their guests (the expats) is EXTREMELY bleak!! I continue in my search for a viable end game strategy, however, being of the opinión that Eisenhower was a master at these assessments, I follow in his path of when in doubt do nothing!! Respectfully

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I find this whole subject of prices fascinating.


Food prices and transportation cost is a little confusing to me. I would think that for many rural Costa Rican their food would be locally grown? Now in the US, there is little local farming and the bulk of the food comes from far away, from corporate farm supported by cheap oil. So, I can see how when the price of oil goes up it increases my grocery prices. Besides the beach area in CR, I thought local farms were much more intact in CR than the US. Maybe the increase in food price is not the oil to get the food to market but the increased electricity cost Costricians pay when hydro is exhausted and the farmer is passing the cost on? Maybe it is the bloated and inefficient ICE monopoly that is driving the costs.


Ultimately, Costiarican are in a squeeze with few options. Living on $12k does not give them much room to cut. They already live in multigenerational housing which American hate (Eleanor’s will never moving in with my kids) so housing cost does not have much elasticity. And it is not like they can move to another state like American can go to N. Dakota and get rich in the oil fields. So, I can see their pain and I figure it will surface in more and more social unrest.


Personally, I am not that worried about the situation since it is temporary and man-made and thus can be fixed with enough social unrest and resulting government action. Being Japan with no natural resources and dependent on human energy with an aging population is what I call hopeless. From what I can see, Costa Rica could be energy independent at any time and completely disconnected from world oil prices. I think that 80% of the energy produced in CR is from renewable a resource which means the electricity is only dependent on oil for the other 20% for turbines.


Given that CR has abundant wind, solar, hydro, and wave resources that could be exploited at any time is amazing and encouraging. The problem is that CR has laws that prevent exploiting these for environmental reasons such as having geothermal power plants in national parks next to volcanos. Also, there are situations like ICE not buying locally generated hydro power though it cost 1/3 their production costs which is man-made inefficiency to protect their jobs. Oh, and of course ICE being a huge monopoly has way too many administrators and employees (like the CR government and Caja) who get paid too much which adds to costs.


So, I am optimistic on CR future since it is not like they are out of oil, and have no other energy resources to fall back on. With a stroke of a pen, many of these problems could be fixed. Newman, companies, countries, people rise and fall as they make investments (roads, people, etc.) and reap the rewards and so CR is going through a cycle. Now is the time that great leadership makes bold decisions that kick starts prosperity. Hopefully, CostaRican can find those leaders.

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Sorry, Jimvignola, but your long post really shows your lack of understanding about Costa Rica and Costa Ricans. It kind of comes from "book learning" rather than living here and actually having some understanding of the people and the culture.

 

I'm not going to go into all the "mis-steps" and misunderstandings - just suffice it so say, there's not much there that is valid. Some..... but not much.

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Sorry, Jimvignola, but your long post really shows your lack of understanding about Costa Rica and Costa Ricans. It kind of comes from "book learning" rather than living here and actually having some understanding of the people and the culture.

 

I'm not going to go into all the "mis-steps" and misunderstandings - just suffice it so say, there's not much there that is valid. Some..... but not much.

 

Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

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Jim, the increase in the cost of petroleum products just does not affect the price of transportation, but also the cost of fertilizers, packaging, etc. This is worldwide, not just a CR problem. Rural Costa Ricans are probably less affected by this than city dwellers.

 

As you mentioned, CR could become more energy independent, and not just in the electrical generation, but palm oil could be used in diesel engines too. Did you know that the diesel was originally designed to run on vegetable oils?

 

Dana

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Jim, the increase in the cost of petroleum products just does not affect the price of transportation, but also the cost of fertilizers, packaging, etc. This is worldwide, not just a CR problem. Rural Costa Ricans are probably less affected by this than city dwellers.

 

As you mentioned, CR could become more energy independent, and not just in the electrical generation, but palm oil could be used in diesel engines too. Did you know that the diesel was originally designed to run on vegetable oils?

 

Dana

 

So Dana, wouldn't you be optimistic on CR future given that they appear to have the resources and tools to fix these issues? All they need is the leadership and will power. Also, if one day they build that natural gas pipeline from the US to LA it will give folks more energy options.Personally, What have you seen on the viability of palm oil being used. I often wonder about the unintended consequences like we have seen with corn being diverted to ethanol increasing food prices. Do you see any issue with palm oil?

 

We host some kids each year who drive around the country in a vegetable oil powered bus. They just go fuel up at McDonald's.

 

http://www.thebiggreenbus.org/history/

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Once again, I mus "rear my ugly head" Having noted before, I have lived here for 11 years - yes TICOS exist here that could turn Costa Rica around (I won't mention names) Without being more specific on that subject, let me turn to the subject of a "pipeline" between the States and Central America. Now be aware that I have first hand knowledge of the following subject! What is needed, and indeed more viable is a Direct Current (D.C.) transmission line from the States to Central America!! The generating station located in the States, with separate countries generators tied into the D.C. line. This is the only logical way to go with a Project such as this!! Respectfully

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jimvignola if you ever lived or drove past where they process palm oil, it can make you feel sick! It really stinks!!!

There are people here including, friends of ours, who fill up their tanks with oil from the restaurnts, but these 'fast food joints' that exist and permit this, are really few and far between. There are also those who have grown Jatropha curcas... including me. Growing this 'nut' is the easy part, processing it, is not neither easy nor cheap,

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Once again, I mus "rear my ugly head" Having noted before, I have lived here for 11 years - yes TICOS exist here that could turn Costa Rica around (I won't mention names) Without being more specific on that subject, let me turn to the subject of a "pipeline" between the States and Central America. Now be aware that I have first hand knowledge of the following subject! What is needed, and indeed more viable is a Direct Current (D.C.) transmission line from the States to Central America!! The generating station located in the States, with separate countries generators tied into the D.C. line. This is the only logical way to go with a Project such as this!! Respectfully

 

Newman ... personally, I would not want to depend on the US for anything if I was CostaRican - energy, food, etc. Americans are so fickle and when you don't do what they want, they cut you off. Also, with a pipe line, you can transport gas, natural gas, oil, etc. If I was in charge, I would diversify countries - US, Mideast, China and sources - solar, wind, oil, tide, geo thermal, hydro so as not be be dependent on any foreign governments.

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jimvignola if you ever lived or drove past where they process palm oil, it can make you feel sick! It really stinks!!!

There are people here including, friends of ours, who fill up their tanks with oil from the restaurnts, but these 'fast food joints' that exist and permit this, are really few and far between. There are also those who have grown Jatropha curcas... including me. Growing this 'nut' is the easy part, processing it, is not neither easy nor cheap,

 

If you search the net, it appears folks are down on palm oil because it is not sustainable and often involves slash and burn causing great impact to animals. Maybe there is a better way to farm it like folks have discovered with coffee? I am guessing each country needs to exploit its natural resources .... for America it is fast food and the oil used to fry it ... it seems like with CR soil and growing season that there is some plant that would serve as an energy source though I am guessing that the math would show there is not enough physical space in CR to grow anything so that everyone could have a car. That is what you find with solar and wind power in the US where if the entire country had solar panels and wind turbines, it would not produce enough power to satisfy American's demand.

 

For solar enthusiasts the project in San Ramon is exciting and will meet 30% of the schools needs as a demonstration project.

 

http://actionalliancecr.com/Collateral/CarbonNeutral/Proposal%20and%20Techncial%20report%20for%20Project%20%20Jorge%20Washington%20Costa%20Rica.pdf

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If so, why did we build the Alaska or want to build the Keystone pipeline? Or why does Russia deliver energy to Europe in a pipeline? I say do as the US does not as they say. Again, the biggest issue for me would be the US cutting me off when every I failed to enact some abortion law or legalize gay marriage or welcomed a diplomat from Venezuela, China or Cuba. I could see throwing DC lines in the mix but I sure would not want to depend on them knowing the source.

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The US needs the crude oil to refine into gas etc. We need this more than electricity, at this time! If a time comes when more electricity is needed, which can occur in the future, the correct way to do it is to construct the generator in Canada and transmit the elecricity by D.C. line. It all comes down to economics!! Whichever is cheaper!! For the long distance transmission of power, the only logical alternative is D.C. lines. The reason? Very little excavation is needed for a D.C line, in comparison to installing a pipeline!! Also, the longer the D.C. line is, the more inexpensive it becomes to transmit electricity over it. Over the lifetime of the D.C. line, it becomes very inexpensive. With the construction of a pipeline, not only must a vast amount of excavation be undertaken, but expensive pump stations must be built with their attendent fuel costs.

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One other observation - when the Trans Alaska pipeline was built, the technology had not advanced to the point where the building of a DC line would have been feasible. In the mid eighties, the technology took a leap, making it a more viable alternative. However, the oil coming off the North Slope of Alaska or out of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) even today would continue using pipelines due to economic consideratons! - The bridge North of Fairbanks over the Yukón river which today carries the Trans Alaska pipeline is structurally adequate for the installation of more pipes across it!!

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"With a stroke of a pen, many of these problems could be fixed."

 

There are layers upon layers of bureaucracy, high-level corruption, concessions to award since CR cannot afford to build its infrastructure, then come the protests from miscellaneous groups against it (for miscellaneous reasons), which generally means whatever decisions are made are reversed...NOTHING happens in this country with the stroke of a pen!!!!

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