He also took part in an international seminar

A world expert on renewable energies highlighted Chile's solar energy potential

US scientist Stanford Ovshinsky visited the Atacama desert and shared ideas with local innovators.

Friday, October 16, 2009  

Acclaimed US scientist Stanford Ovshinsky highlighted Chile's energy potential during his recent visit to the country, participating at an international seminar and sharing ideas with national innovators at a convention organized by Fundación Imagen de Chile.

“Sunlight is much more favorable here than in several other places. You have more wealth than the Saudi Arabian desert. You can touch that sun that is going to be with us for at least the next five billion years. You have more wealth than others if you connect with the sun's uses in order to provide electricity that is needed so much”, he commented.

Ovshinsky holds patents for over 400 inventions related to rechargeable batteries, solar panels that produce electricity in environments with little light, and safe hydrogen storage systems. He is a self-taught developer and his creative genius has earned him the reputation as the “Edison of our age” and the “Einstein of Alternative Energy”.

“You are very lucky to have resources such as the sea, wind or hydroelectricity. More energy can be taken from the sun than the whole planet can use in one year. At any rate, you don't have any energy problems”, he stated.

Ovshinsky spoke at the International Solar Seminar held at the Pan-American Hotel in Antofagasta. Invited by Fundación Imagen de Chile and accompanied by its executive director, Juan Gabriel Valdés, he visited the Very Large Telescope (VLT), the most advanced optical observatory in the world located at Paranal hill.

The US scientist said that the facilities “are a true wonder. I work as a scientist and I recognize several disciplines, but what I see is a very favorable situation you have here, the best in the world”, and therefore he suggested that  “citizenry should be committed to progress”.

Size versus contribution

Back in Santiago, the specialist participated at a round table discussion on climatic change and renewable energies coordinated by Fundación Democracia y Desarrollo, finishing his activities with a convention for a group of entrepreneurs invited by the Innovation Forum.

Ovshinsky addressed the Forum as follows: “It is truly an honor to be here with you. I really feel at home because I am also a young innovator. When you have a position in life to be able to choose the world, you have to be young. An innovator's work is never done. You must understand what the problems are from a realistic point of view and then find the solutions”.

When asked about his impressions of Chile, he highlighted its talented and educated people, its democracy and work-oriented society, in addition to committed people, all of which are essential conditions for the development of alternate energies.

“You have the creativity, the people and the brain power to build new industries, because the basics are dying and it is your responsibility. There is no excuse not to do so. Countries are great not because of their size, but because of their contributions. Chile has the human potential and the potential to use its energy sources, such as water and the sun, as well as its empty land, just as Saudi Arabia has done”, he concluded.