Chile plans to phase out its coal plants

Coal plant If the politicians agree, Chile is taking a giant step forward in its renewable policy. The Chilean country wants to decarbonize its economy by 2050.

In fact, Chile has proposed not to start the development of new coal-based plants, which do not have capture systems and carbon storage or equivalent technologies. In addition, it includes the scheduled closure of facilities of this nature that currently exist.

The decision was made by the most important electricity companies documents of the country, such as AES, Colbun, Enel and Engie in agreement with the government led by Michelle Bachelet.

"Anticipating our commitments to the Paris Agreement and thanks to the collaboration of the generating companies, Chile will have a decarbonized development. We will not build more coal-fired thermoelectric plants, and we will gradually close and replace those that exist, "the president tweeted in relation to this initiative, which places Chile at the forefront of the efforts being made in Latin America to combat climate change (phenomenon generated by coal, among other greenhouse gases).

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Renewables today

Currently, 40% of Chilean electricity is generated in thermoelectric plants that are supplied with coal, which makes this the main source of electricity generation in the country. However, the energy change that it is adopting is in line with the important advance that renewable technologies have had in the country:

Renewables as of March 2014 only corresponded to 7% of the total of the matrix, which has doubled as of March 2017. The most consolidated is solar energy, which according to the National Energy Commission in February of this year, the 76% of the projects corresponded to photovoltaic solar panelsThus, in the Central Interconnected System 5% comes from this type of energy. There are also wind and hydraulic projects.

More profitability

In addition to being more sustainable, renewables are more profitable, or so several reports on economic impact say: LEl Romero Solar photovoltaic plant, commissioned and connected to the grid in 2016, reveals that during its useful life, estimated at 35 years, it will contribute 316 million dollars to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), “double that of an equivalent standard coal plant.

El Romero Solar, with 246 MWp, the largest photovoltaic plant in Latin America when it started operations

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The future

According to the Chilean Minister of Energy, Andrés Rebolledo “We have exceptional conditions for the development of renewable energies. We have set ourselves a goal that by 2050 at least 70% of the matrix is ​​based on them, and we could reach up to 90% ”.

The electric companies they seem to coincide with the government. This is how they expressed, in a joint statement, from the Ministry of Energy and the Association of Generators: “Thanks to the significant reduction in costs and massification of renewable generation technologies that have been incorporated into our matrix, the electricity generation industry visualizes an increasingly renewable future ”.

“Chile's decision is in line with a progressive decarbonisation and shows the great path that renewable energies opened thanks to its benefits”, Points out, in turn, Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis, director of Climate Change at Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (FARN).

Thus, the government highlighted the profound reform implemented in recent years responding to public policies designed in conjunction with public and private actors, ensuring that "the energy sector leads investments and has managed to reduce drastically their pricesIt is a focus of attraction for new businesses and has a higher level of competition ”.

The Executive Director of Image of Chile, Myriam Gómez, said that “without a doubt, having a matrix focused on renewable energies and using our natural resources responsibly, taking sustainable steps towards the future, are key aspects for our country's image. In fact, according to the 2017 report of the international consultancy Ernst & Young, Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index, the country ranks sixth place worldwide among the nations with the best opportunities in the development of NCRE ”.

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