Costa Rica - Country Commercial Guide
Solar Energy Products
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Local production of energy equipment is limited to small products needed for solar panels and water installation, such as cables, metal tubing, some valves and metal water tanks.  China accounted for over 50% of the market.  The U.S. is second with about a third of the market and growing.  Other smaller competitors are Spain, Mexico, and Vietnam. There are also imports of solar products from Central America (mainly Panama and Guatemala), but these are re-exports as most of these products originate from Asian countries.  The U.S. continues to grow slightly every year, even in a depressed market that slowed after new the VAT was implemented.

Exports from Costa Rica are also of imported products from other countries. Most companies selling solar systems are assembled Asian solar panels with some U.S. made components. 

In 2016, the Costa Rican government approved a new regulation which allows individuals and companies to produce solar energy (up to 15 percent of the users per district) and sell up to 49 percent of their excess production back to the grid.  A new distribution law from 2021 established conditions to promote and regulate access, installation, connection, interaction, and control of all distributed energy from renewable sources. This new plan reactivates the economy by removing the current 15% cap for private generators. With the new legislation, the distributors of each circuit will be able to define what percentage of energy their customers can produce. At the governance level, the new legislation leaves environmental and energy stewardship in the Minae, as is now the case.

Most solar product importers do not pay import taxes, but when applied, taxes can also be exonerated by the end-user though the Costa Rican Ministry of Finance. High quality, reliability, durability, favorable prices, good maintenance service, and timely delivery are the main factors for increasing U.S. sales in the solar energy products sector.

As mentioned before, there is no significant local production of solar energy products in Costa Rica, but it has increased during the last year. The Costa Rican energy generation matrix for 2022 is composed of 74 percent Hydro, 12.8 percent Geothermal, 12.5 percent Wind, Biomass 0.54 percent. and 0.07 percent Solar. During 2023, up to July Costa Rica generated 4.5% of its electric with bunker oil due to El Niño, when historically was always below 1% of its use.


Based on the projections made by the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), the participation of solar energy in Costa Rica for 2030 will reach 1.3 percent, while the hydroelectric market will increase to 80 percent. According to the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) and the Costa Rican National Power and Light Company (CNFL), both government entities, the target market for solar energy in Costa Rica, remains to be households or companies that consume between 200kw/h and 3,000kw/h.

ICE and CNFL have been installing photovoltaic systems. ICE successfully ended a program to install energy photovoltaic systems for a total of 10MW a few years back.  ICE has installed 2,559 systems in homes, 649 systems installed for community activities, and 132 systems installed in conservation areas. 

There are three major solar parks in Costa Rica; Juanilama by Coopeguanacaste, Pocosol by Coopelesca, and Valle Escondido that will be built in 2021 by BMR Energy, contracted by ICE but not in use.

Since 2018, Solar Energy International operates a training facility for Solar Energy products installation in Costa Rica:

There are many private companies, most of them members of ACESOLAR (Costa Rican Solar Energy Association), and the CDG (Chamber of Distributed Energy Generation of Costa Rica). They have changed the current legislation opening the market and allowing more solar panels and batteries to be installed.  The main issue is that the law requires a regulation, and that regulation according to the new law is not in place, so the law can’t be applied yet. 

ACESOLAR companies were doing most of the work installing solar systems with the industrial parks and warehouses, bringing down the monthly invoices in Costa Rica.  During 2023, a few of the utilities companies decided unilaterally to lower the payment of private solar input, making it less interesting for residential use or SME’s to participate in the solar market. The new regulation for distributed energy is still pending, and until is done, Costa Rica will be waiting for a way to commercialize better its solar energy possibilities. 

Web Resources

CS Costa Rica Commercial Specialist, Roy Fernandez


Costa Rican Association of Solar Energy -ACESOLAR


Costa Rican Association of Energy Producers -ACOPE


Public Services’ Regulating Authority - ARESEP


Costa Rican Customs Directorate, Ministry of Finance