On March 28, EARTH University, AD ASTRA Rocket Company, and Costa Rica’s public-private Development Bank System (SBD) signed an agreement to fund research and develop hydrogen-powered transportation in the Northern province of Guanacaste. Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís acted as a special witness and attended the signing ceremony that took place at the Ad Astra Rocket offices in the canton of Liberia.
This agreement could have a significant impact on the national energy grid, which is currently comprised of 70% oil. It is meant to help lessen Costa Rica’s dependence on fossil fuels and support the government’s proposed goal of becoming completely carbon neutral by 2021.
SBD has started a $432,000 pledge to implement a pilot plan and determine the feasibility of self-sustaining transportation based on renewable energy and hydrogen technology. The first hydrogen-powered bus is scheduled to start operating within 15 months, and will be used to transport workers between the Daniel Oduber International Airport and downtown Liberia. The results of this project will be analyzed in order to determine how to achieve Costa Rica’s carbon neutrality goals.
With EARTH’s experience in training professionals and entrepreneurs in environmental sustainability, the university will be a key support for the success of this project. EARTH president José Zaglul commented, “It is a great privilege for EARTH to be able to support this initiative with our vast experience in generating innovative projects, exploring science and technology, and providing training services and vocational training.”
President Solís expressed his keen interest in the project as a contribution the nation’s goal of becoming a global leader in renewable energy. “We must aim to have a national energy system with low emissions of greenhouse gases. Costa Rica has no choice but to join global efforts to reverse the trends of climate change and encourage any initiative to seek solutions. We join enthusiastically in this alliance that includes the best of our democracy: promotion of talent, innovation, education, equitability, and using economic resources to create wealth, jobs and development for our people,” he said.
Former NASA astronaut and current CEO of AD ASTRA, Franklin Chang Díaz, also voiced his excitement for the initiative. “This union between the government and the private sector promotes development. [This project] will accelerate the paradigm shift to electric transportation in this country.”
The signing of this agreement reflects a shared mission among Banking Development, Ad Astra and EARTH University to positively contribute to the development and sustainable growth of the country with social and environmental responsibility.
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