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Energy Transition in Chile

The Renewable Energy Association of Chile (Acera) has backed calls for sourcing 100% of its electricity by 2040, on the back of an "ambitious" new government. The country elected conservative businessman Sebsatián Piñera as president in December.According to Acera, Pinera's renewable energy and climate change policies has many common points with that of the association.

Leading to the ambitious Goals, Chile is pushing power companies to phase out coal plants following a government announcement earlier this year that the country wouldn’t build coal-fired power plants unless they were equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS). The decision, part of a wider national plan to transition to cleaner energy sources, has already claimed some victims, with French power company Engie SA announcing last week it would close its coal-fired power plants in the country as there was “little point” in trying to sell them. Instead, it plans to replace the capacity with renewable energy.

Currently, coal makes up 21 percent of the nation’s installed capacity. The share of renewable energies in its evolving power mix is 22 percent, but the goal is to meet 70 percent of national electricity needs with solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, and ocean energy. However, with the Ambitious Plan been set, the only way it will be reached is the deployment of Solar energy at Big Scale. While Solar Photovoltaics provides a way to bring transition, the Acceleration will be at lower side of the curve. With the Solar CSP becoming cheap and the additional advantages that comes with the Concentrated Solar Power over the Photovoltaics, CSP holds a strong future.

In the last decade, Power Magazine reports.," Chile has tripled its generation capacity in from 6.5 GW to 23 GW to meet soaring power demand bolstered by an economy driven by exports." Yet, the government expects power demand will more than double through 2050. And because it remains an electricity island, with only one cross-border connection, Chile must produce all its own power needs in Sustainable Manner.

The copper producing country’s decision is in line with predictions, such as the World Bank’s, which expects coal use to nosedive in the next 30 years. "Until now, the model has been coal plus Renewable. the model can be gas plus renewables. and within 10-12 years from now, we will see renewable and storage and nothing more than that", says Riccardo Puliti, the World Bank's Global Head of Energy and extractives.

The Market is set for the Solar CSP Technology with already Large scale Solar plants getting deployed in countries across the globe. In Atacama Dessert (Chile) which is the driest region across Globe, there is huge opportunity for CLIMATENZA, a Solar thermal CSP company which is researching in Parabolic Troughs to explore the market and help the Energy companies move towards renewable path.

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