As Chile transforms into the first developed country in South America and grows GDP by 5.1% annually till 2015, its energy needs are expected to grow hugely, possibly doubling over the next ten years.
As Chile transforms into the first developed country in South America and grows GDP by 5.1% annually till 2015, its energy needs are expected to grow hugely, possibly doubling over the next ten years. The mining industry alone is expected to demand an additional 5% annually – already consuming more than 80% of supply in the north. Black outs are common feature and citizen engagement with the dangers of climate change is high. These drivers have encouraged wide public support for Non Conventional Renewable Energy (NCRE) and the government has recognised that now is time to take advantage of Chile’s outstanding natural resources, seeking up to 8GW of NCRE installations before 2020, a 47% increase on existing supply.
Chile’s long costal border, the Atacama Desert and mountainous terrain all coalesce to give it the advantage when it comes to renewable energy. Thanks to the Atacama Desert, radiation levels are among the highest worldwide and conditions are amongst the driest. An estimated 4,000 km2 is available for solar installations and. Chile boasts excellent conditions for wind power. In addition, geothermal resource is fantastic due to Chile’s position on the ring of fire with an estimated 16,000 MW of production potential over the next 50-years.
High energy price, increasing demand, rejection of conventional energy, and the NCRE law which requires generators to produce 10% of power from NCRE by 2024 has meant that the international renewable community is keen to take a look at the opportunities on offer. The Chilean International Renewable Energy Congress will welcome more than 300 of the most senior experts in wind, solar, geothermal and finance on the 4-5 September 2012 in Santiago.