Chile is taking a leading position relative to its neighbor countries in terms of renewable energies over the last decades. This behavior is basically attributed to the high involvement of the society with its natural resources and the fact that there is a spread knowledge that we as citizens should take care of nature.
This materialized in 2013 with a law dictated by President Sebastián Piñera (Law Nº 20.698) which commits Chile to achieve a goal of 10% of renewable energies to support its energetic matrix by 2024.
But the fact is that there are clear incentives to invest in renewable energy in Chile do not imply that those are the only factors to take in consideration. Actually Chile has a competitive advantage over many countries in terms of resource quality that supports the implementation of these energies.
We mention the most important ones below:
Solar energy: Chile possess the Atacama desert which is one of the few hotspots that receives elevated rates of radiation from the sun with almost 356 days of clear skies, high solar radiation and low humidity, makes this a unique place to develop this energy. Thus, the estimated solar potential for electricity generation in the Atacama Desert (situated within the first four regions from north to south) is nearly 1,000 GW.
Seawater energy: Thanks to its 4.300 km of coastlines, Chile has a large exposure to the pacific ocean. This puts Chile in a unique position to develop this type of energy; In fact according to the International Monetary Fund Chile has a capacity of 164 GW for seaweater energies development.
Eolic Energy: The same positioning to large coastlines makes Chile also exposed to lots of wind. Actually, according to the CIFES (National center of innovation and research of green energies) the potential of eolic energy reaches up to 40 GW by 2014. Today, there is only 571 MW produced by this energy yearly.
In conclusion, it must be taken in consideration that the opportunities in Chile to develop green energies have become more than just a visionary objective from small groups of environmentalists and there’s a political and social agenda that promotes the creation and use of this energies. The mindset of chileans is changing as a whole, it’s being supported with incentives given by the government as well as a high level of involvement and support of local industries and people.
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Article written by Julián Dittus Cabrera, attorney from Vivir en Chile.