Chile ranks higher in study measuring the countries best suited for renewable energy
Expert argues the rise in popularity is in part due to government energy policies
Monday, June 18, 2012
Solar energy has great potential in Chile, according to study (photo by Abi Skipp/Flickr)
Chile has earned 38th place this year in a ranking conducted by the consulting firm Ernst & Young which evaluates the appeal countries have for renewable energy investment. They moved up one spot from 39th place last year.
The study measures the 40 most important markets which are promoting this kind of technology, as well as the infrastructure in each country necessary to implement it. In recent years, emerging markets, such as Chile, have been quickly expanding in this area.
Solar and wind power, the most prominent sources of renewable energy, have already been implemented in Chile and are picking up speed.
Construction has already begun on a wind farm of 115-megawatt in Antofagasta, a $245 million project from El Arrayán which is working together with AEI, Pattern Energy and Antofagasta Minerals. The project is expected to open its doors in early 2014.
In that same region, a solar power plant of a potential 9 MW is in the works. Ingenostrum, a multinational company, is considering the plan to build six solar plants, worth approximately $2 billion, which could provide 668 MW in the region.
The north of Chile is a highly suitable place for development of this type for its abundance of wind and sun. It is also an area rich in copper which presents the possibility for mining companies to benefit from renewable energy sources in the future.
As evidenced by recent investment in the area, technology developers have not missed this opportunity. Veronique Bekaert, senior manager at Ernst & Young, explains that this increase in popularity is at least in part due to the government's energy policies. She elaborates that they “put the topic on the table and have allowed for strategies to form, which is a first step in this transition to renewable energy."
The emphasis in this market, much like other similar markets around the world, is to increase foreign investment in the area.