Chile Implementing A Carbon Neutral Program

National Economy

The population of the Republic of Chile is approximately 19.34 million people[1]. In 2019, 100% of the people in this South American country had access to electricity[2].

In 2020, Chile’s economy was ranked 42nd in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy[4] is dependent on the export of copper, molybdenum, produce, seafood, paper, wine, lumber, and meat.

Environment Policies

In 2013, Chile established a target for the utilities to generate 20% of its electricity from renewable sources. The country did not implement any financial incentives for new renewable energy projects.

In 2014, Chile enacted a carbon tax of US $5.00/CO2 Ton on emissions from power plants with capacity of more than 50 MW.

In 2016, Chile signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to an unconditional 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP by 2030, compared to 2007 levels.

In 2020, utilities[6] used renewable energy (48.6 %), coal (22.3 %), oil (14.8 %), and natural gas (14.3 %) to generate electricity in Chile. Hydropower, solar, and wind are the primary types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Chile.

Recent renewable energy developments in Chile include:

  • 210 MW Solar Project – In April 2021, Spanish renewable energy companies, Abengoa and Acciona commissioned the Cerro Dominador Solar Power Plant at a site approximately 700 miles north of the nation’s capital, Santiago.
  • 141 MW Solar Project – In August 2020, American solar company, First Solar commissioned the Luz del Norte solar project at a site approximately 450 miles north of Santiago.
  • 123 MW Solar Project – In March 2020, Spanish solar company, Solarpack commissioned the Granja solar project at a site approximately 1,000 miles north of Santiago.
  • 102 MW Wind Project – Norwegian renewable energy company, Statkraft is continuing work on a wind project at a site approximately 75 miles south of Santiago. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by year-end 2022.
  • Hydro Panel Project – In April 2021, Chilean renewable energy company, Lader Energy commissioned a solar project, which is capable of producing 10,000 liters of potable water per month from the humidity in the air. The project is located in the city of San Fernando, approximately 75 miles south of Santiago.

Virtually all of Chile’s fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) are imported. In 2020, fossil fuel were used to 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 real progress at moving from expensive fossil fuels to inexpensive, reliable, green energy.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jack kerfoot.com

 

[1] Chile Population (2021) –  November 8, 2021, www.worldometers.info

[2] Chile – The World Bank Group

[3] Gross Domestic Product 2019 – World Bank DataBank

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Chile

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

[6] Our World In Data, Chile:  Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

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