Initiatives, Programs, and Policies
Costa Rica launched in February, 2019 its National Decarbonization Plan, an initiative to gradually decarbonize all sectors of the economy based on the country’s already clean electricity production matrix. Hydrogen is part of the technologies contemplated within the plan.
In May 2019, Costa Rica launched the Costa Rican Alliance for Hydrogen. The Alliance serves as a coordinating body with the aim of positioning hydrogen as a facilitator of the decarbonization of the economy and the energy transition, and to promote the adoption of public policies and support schemes for hydrogen in the Costa Rican economy. As of today, 12 institutions (private, public and ONG’s) form part of the Alliance, covering the whole range of the hydrogen supply chain. Institutions represented in the Alliance include: the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB), the CRUSA Foundation, Purdy Motor, Linde Costa Rica, the Estrategia Siglo XXI Foundation, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), Grupo Electrotécnica, Siemens Costa Rica, Matelpa, Cummins Costa Rica, Relaxury and Ad Astra Rocket Company.
Research and Development
Between 2012 and 2014, Cummins, EARTH University and Ad Astra Rocket jointly developed and tested a prototype generator set able to run on mixtures of green hydrogen and biogas. The objective of the project was to research the ability of hydrogen to leverage changes in the quality of biogas as a fuel.
Between 2015 and 2017, Cummins and Ad Astra Rocket jointly developed and tested a 5-kW compact wind turbine to test the viability of this technology as a component of renewable hydrogen systems.
Demonstration, Deployments, and Workforce Developments
Along with several public and private partners, Ad Astra Rocket Company Costa Rica has operated since 2017 Costa Rica’s Sustainable Transportation Ecosystem, the first Central American demonstration of carbon-free renewable transportation, with the deployment of a hydrogen fuel-cell electric urban bus, fuel cell electric vehicles and all associated infrastructure.
An 80 kW solar and wind farm generating renewable electricity for hydrogen production
A pilot water electrolysis facility capable of hydrogen storage at 450-700 bar with ongoing expansion to 900 bar
A 350 bar hydrogen dispensing station currently being expanded to 700 bar fast refueling capability for supporting private automobiles (such as the Toyota Mirai) as well as urban bus operations.
A Van Hool A330, 35-passenger fuel-cell urban bus owned by Cummins Inc and operated by Relaxury SA.
Four (4) Toyota Mirai sedans, the first fuel-cell passenger cars introduced into the Latin American market by Purdy Motor SA.
One Toyota Mirai deployed to Las Catalinas eco-resort.
Ad Astra Rocket Company has offered training seminars in hydrogen technologies and applicable business models in 2015, 2018 and 2019.
Events and Solicitations
Investments and Funding
Between 2011 and 2013, RECOPE (the Costa Rican Oil Refinery) and Ad Astra Rocket Company started development of an experimental hydrogen production and storage plant.
Between 2014 and 2017, the infrastructure was expanded and renamed the “Costa Rica Sustainable Transportation Ecosystem”, with the support of Costa Rica’s Development Bank System (SBD) as well as private partners. Overall, $4.4 million were invested in this period, 40% corresponding to private sector investment.
In 2019, IDB Lab, the innovation lab of the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB), started the project titled “The Road to Decarbonization: Promotion of the Hydrogen Economy in Costa Rica”. The project includes a total investment of $3.9 million, where 21% is sponsored by IDB Lab and the remaining funds are leveraged by third parties.
Regulations, Codes & Standards, and Safety
- Ministerio del Ambiente y Energía
- Dirección de Cambio Climático (MINAE)
- Ad Astra Rocket Company
- Estrategia Siglo XXI
Reports & Publications
- Ad Astra Rocket Company Costa Rica presented a poster in the 22nd World Hydrogen Energy Conference held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2018.
- Press Release: Ad Astra strengthens green hydrogen footprint in Costa Rica.
- Press Release: International specialists discussed with national leaders, the role of Hydrogen in decarbonization.
- Press Release: San José has a special guest on May 8th.
- Press Release: Central America's first transportation ecosystem becomes operational.