Chile Is Steadily Increasing Clean, Green Energy

The population of the Republic of Chile is approximately 19.18 million people[1]. In 2018, 100% of the people in this country on the southwest coast of South America had access to electricity[2]

In 2018, Chile’s economy was ranked 42nd in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of copper, lithium, iron ore, fish, fruits, wood, precious metals, and meat.

In 2016, Chile signed the Paris Climate Agreement[4], committing to an unconditional 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP by 2030, compared to 2007 levels.

In 2016, Chile enacted a law that by 2025, 20% of the energy matrix in the country must be composed of renewable energy. The country also set a goal that by 2050, 70% of the energy matrix in the country would be composed of renewable energy.

In 2017, Chile’s utilities[5] used renewable energy (47%), coal (22%), natural gas (19%),and oil (12%). Hydropower, solar, and wind are the dominant sources of renewable energy in Chile.

Recent renewable energy developments in Chile include:

  • Hydropower + Solar + Energy Storage Project – The Patagonia National Park has recently replaced the diesel power plant that provides electricity to Chile’s national park with a hybrid hydropower, solar and energy storage system. The hybrid renewable energy system will provide power to the national park’s hostel, restaurant, campsites, museum, and information center.
  • 141 MW Solar Project – American solar company, First Solar has completed the Luz del Norte Photovoltaic power plant, which is located approximately 36 miles northeast of the city of Copiapó, Chile. The solar power plant has recently been integrated into Chile’s power grid, managed by Coordinador Eléctrico Nacional.

Chile imports virtually all fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil), which fuel power plants that generate over 50% of the country’s electricity. The import of expensive fossil fuels negatively impacts the country’s economy.

Chile has significant renewable energy resources, including hydropower, solar, and wind. Chile is now making steady progress moving from fossil fuels, to clean green energy.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

[1] Chile Population (2020) –  November 13, 2020  

[2] Chile – The World Bank Group

[3] Gross Domestic Product 2019 – World Bank DataBank

[4] Carbon Brief – “2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[5] Chilean Electricity Sectors – Fitch Ratings

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