Thursday, March 16, 2017

Chile: 3.5 GW of Geothermal Energy Potential

Why Chile's clean energy policy must transcend politics (Business News Americas)

Although Chile boasts some 3.5 GW of geothermal energy potential, the country to date has no geothermal capacity in operation and just one project under construction.

The technology's benefits – including plant factors above 90%, near-zero emissions, and useful plant lives of 50 years or more – are evident, according to Carlos Finat, executive director of Chile's renewable energy trade association Acera.

However, Chile lacks the necessary regulatory framework to promote geothermal development and provide peace of mind to would-be lenders.

To address this issue, the energy ministry in December launched the Mesa de Geotermia, a public-private initiative to better understand the opportunities and challenges facing the segment and fine-tune public policy accordingly.

Geothermal, along with other baseload renewable sources such as CSP solar and pumped-storage hydroelectricity, will allow renewables to replace Chile's aging thermoelectric fleet over the coming years, Finat said.

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