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    Costa Rica’s Biofuel Program

    By Keith R | June 6, 2008

    Topics: Biofuels, Energy & the Environment | No Comments »

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    Costa Rica has committed itself to a full roll-out of ethanol blended gasoline and biodiesel by October of this year. The ethanol will be sourced from sugarcane (using Brazilian tech) and blended at the El Alto plant of the state-owned refinery in charge of the implementation of the biofuel program, Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo, S.A. (Recope). The biodiesel will come from a variety of sources, but primarily palm oil and Jatropha, and will be blended at Recope’s Moín plant. Initially the ethanol percentage will be around 7%, rising to 10% by 2010. The biodiesel blend will start at 2% and rise to 5% by 2010.

    But, as the following video (in Spanish) on the pilot phase of the ethanol program that I recently found on the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) website makes clear, implementation may be problematic without a substantial public education program. During the pilot phase many Ticos avoided buying the ethanol blend at the 600+ services stations offering it because they feared that the fuel would harm their engines or require a prior engine adjustment before use. They were also unhappy that there was no price advantage (the Costa Rican government has decided not to subsidize biofuel sales).

    How Should the Costa Rican Government Convince Ticos to Buy Biofuels?

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