The Universidad de Magallenes, in the southernmost Chilean city of Punta Arenas, was recently recognized nationally for its important work toward a greener Chile. The institution was selected for the National Award for Energy Efficiency 2013 in the Education category by the Chilean Agency for Energy Efficiency (AChEE) a reflection on not just the school, but the region.
The university’s Center for the Study of Energy Resources (CERE) has been working with the AChEE since 2011 to improve the clean and efficient use of energy in the Magallanes Region. The region, which also includes Chilean Antarctica, is the largest in the country and the second least populated. Because of this, many in the area have limited access to modern heating methods and energy efficient practices.
The 2013 award for the university is in recognition of several projects aimed at improving this reality for the local population. The institution was working with support and funding from the AChEE via their research and development initiatives of Energy Efficiency (EE) to address energy concerns in the region.
Among the achievements accomplished by the projects were research into better insulation for homes, and improving light quality and efficiency in schools as well as general education initiatives for local residents. The CERE at the university also made major strides to improve the Magellan stove, a typical focal point of many local homes used for both cooking and heating. The wood-burning stoves are the most common source of heating found in the region.
The national award, given to different actors in various fields, highlights the overall pursuit for energy efficiency across Chile, supporting the first pillar of the National Energy Strategy for 2012-2030, “growing with energy efficiency.” Other recipients of this year’s award include the Justice Ministry, produce company Alifrut S.A., transportation company Scania S.A., and the National Board of Kindergartens (JUNJI).
Chile has been championing major projects across the country to improve energy efficiency and to generate more renewable energy. Among these are impressive wind and solar investments as well as research into tidal and wave energy.