Building on the country’s track record and solid energy policies, the government has now announced a new line of work with ten undertakings for the next four years, including shorter times for obtaining an environmental permit, technical training and the modernization of institutions.
Over the past 25 years, Chile has increased electricity supply fourfold, consolidating the energy industry as one of the most important in the country, with an attractive growth rate and development potential. In the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index published by E&Y in May 2018, Chile led Latin America and ranked 11th internationally.
For a number of years now, the country has had a solid energy policy that seeks to diversify its matrix and promote particularly the development of non-conventional renewable energies.
The government has also recently released an important new document, Energy Route: Leading Modernization with a Citizen Seal, which will guide the current administration’s public policy over the next four years. It establishes seven pillars of action and ten concrete undertakings to be implemented during its term of office.
“Our government wants to take energy modernization to every corner of our country,” said Energy Minister Susana Jiménez during the presentation of this document.
More and better energy
These undertakings include a “25% reduction in the time required to obtain an environmental permit for projects developed under the Plan + Energy, as compared to the time taken over the past four years”, thereby facilitating their implementation and reducing investor costs in this stage of the project.
Another undertaking seeks to achieve “a fourfold increase in the current capacity of distributed small-scale renewable generation (less than 300 kW) by 2022”. This will favor particularly photovoltaic (PV) solar energy projects and, together with the Law on Distributed Generation, boost the implementation of projects on the roofs of private dwellings and by companies and public entities.
The Route has seven pillars: (1) energy modernization; (2) energy with a social seal; (3) energy development; (4) low-emissions energy; (5) sustainable transport; (6) energy efficiency; and (7) energy education and training.
It reaffirms Chile’s commitment to green energy and a sustainable and environmentally friendly matrix, making efficient use of these resources. This has long been the goal of the country’s energy policy and is also reflected in the Energy Agenda 2050, a document published in 2014, which projects that, by 2025, 20% of the country’s energy will be produced from non-conventional renewable sources.
The ten undertakings
- Preparation of a map of the country’s energy vulnerability, identifying families that do not have electricity and other energy services, with a view to narrowing the gaps that exist.
- Modernization of the energy institutional framework in order to increase government effectiveness and provide citizens with a better service, including particularly the Superintendency of Electricity and Fuels and the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission.
- 25% reduction in the time required to obtain an environmental permit for projects developed under the Plan + Energy, as compared to the time taken over the past four years.
- A fourfold increase in the current capacity of renewable small-scale distributed generation (less than 300 kW) by 2022.
- At least a tenfold increase in the number of electric vehicles in use in Chile.
- Modernization of the regulation of electricity distribution through a participatory process in order to capture the new realities of the energy sector and facilitate their implementation in an efficient and competitive manner.
- Regulation of solid biofuels such as firewood and its derivatives, giving the Energy Ministry the powers to establish technical specifications and regulation of their application to the sale of firewood in urban areas.
- Establishment of a regulatory framework for energy efficiency that provides the necessary incentives to promote the efficient use of energy in sectors with the highest consumption (manufacturing, mining, transport and building) and to create a true energy culture in the country.
- Launch of the process of decarbonization of the energy matrix by drawing up a calendar for the withdrawal or reconversion of coal-fired plants and introducing concrete measures as regards electromobility.
- Training of 6,000 operators, technicians and professionals, developing skills for the management and sustainable use of energy in the electricity, fuel and renewable energy sectors, and the certification of at least 3,000.