Chile’s energy consumption grew by 47% from 2002–2010. During the same period, installed electrical generation capacity increased by 57% (from 10 to 16 GW), with hydropower making up 37% of total electrical generation. However, severe droughts have reduced Chile’s hydropower generation, leading to an increase in natural gas use. To avoid future energy crises, Chile developed initiatives to diversify its energy portfolio and accelerate the use of non-conventional energy sources. In 2009, the Chilean Government committed to increasing the use of marine energy, estimating that wave energy alone could yield up to 160 GW of capacity (about 10 times the country’s current installed capacity). Chile’s support of marine energy development aligns with the country’s target of 20% renewable energy by 2025. This renewable energy target is also part of Chile’s INDC, which articulates a broader goal of reducing CO2emissions per gross domestic product unit by 30% by 2030.Listed below are actions and good practices, detailed in the case study, that supported Chile’s marine energy strategy.
- Policy changes mandated that 10% of distributed energy be derived from non-conventional sources, and fines were imposed on non-complying companies.
- Engagement of public, private, and international stakeholders at the planning stages enabled a supportive environment and provided partnerships for advancing research and deployment of technologies.
- Assessing the potential long-term impacts of marine energy deployment on jobs helped build support for Chile’s energy strategy. For example, providing offshore salmon breeders with an alternative to diesel electricity generation could lead to positive economic impacts and new energy standards in the fisheries sector.
- The National Gas Company’s unused offshore platforms could accommodate tidal/wave generating devices, enabling the company to participate in generating power from non-conventional sources.
Government of Chile, Inter-American Development Bank
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