Moving forward

Chile sets sights on renewable energy

The Andean nation more than doubles its renewable energy goal as the country continues to push for innovative energy alternatives.

Monday, November 11, 2013  
Chile continues to invest and seek out alternative energy sources. Photo by Armin Kübelbeck / Wikico Chile continues to invest and seek out alternative energy sources. Photo by Armin Kübelbeck / Wikicommons



Chile is serious about promoting and developing green technology and alternative energy. Already exceeding its current renewable energy goal, it has raised the bar pushing businesses to go even further.

Last month Chile increased the percentage of energy that utility companies are required to source from renewable means such as solar and wind from 5 percent to 20 percent by 2025. Companies can meet this requirement directly, or buy credits from other companies that are producing more than the required figures.

The target increase from 5 percent to 20 will mean 6,500 megawatts of energy coming from the country’s solar and wind farms as well as hydroelectric and future tidal energy projects. This is a jump from the current 1,000 megawatts.

Because Chile was already going beyond the 5 percent target, the government saw the opportunity to push further, creating more room for investments into the country’s growing renewable energy sector and promoting further innovation and development.

Maria Paz de la Cruz, director of Chile’s Renewable Energy Center, emphasized that in addition to environmental benefits, the new goal is good news for private developers.

“With the change in the law we have secured an amount of demand for this type of technology,” Cruz said. “[More renewables will help Chile] become more independent from imported fossil fuels.”

Currently 80 percent of Chile’s energy comes from non-renewable resources like oil and gas.

“We’re trying to secure a clean energy matrix for the future,” Cruz added.

Chile has the means to become a world leader in sustainable energy, with the north of the country, including the Atacama Desert, serving as one of the largest sources of potential solar power on the planet. Chile has also been investing in the development of tidal power which could turn the country’s endless coastline into one of its most valuable resources.