Chile has wind farms, tunnels with solar-powered lighting, eco-sustainable lagoons and a solid institutional framework aimed at improving energy efficiency and stimulating the development of clean and nonconventional energy sources.
To this end, 11 rural health centers in the Araucanía Region will install solar panels as part of a plan involving an investment of over 200 million Chilean pesos that will also install wind turbines and innovative water wells in these facilities. The initiative is expected to be repeated in another 140 municipalities around the country.
The first health centers to benefit from these solar panels were Ñancul, Añilco and Liumalla, which will have a service based on a battery to store energy and a panel strategically located on the clinics’ roofs.
Mario Castro, coordinator of the project that is being led and implemented by the Araucania Sur Health Service, said that this creative system will allow rural health centers to attain energy independence.
For her part, Ana María González, municipal health director in Villarrica, a town that will also benefit from the project, appreciated the initiative as it allows “alternative energy generation in the event of interrupted electricity supplies or other problems, in addition to the fact that the positive operation and high performance of the new system has allowed us to work with this type of energy without major difficulties.”
Thus, Chile exploits its solar potential on a massive scale and with frequency, not just in the northern part of the country, an area that international experts have highlighted for its high potential in the sector, but in the southern regions as well, which are also betting on energy sustainability despite having less of the resource.