Chile Mines Turn to Renewable Energy
Aug. 11, 2015 9:57 p.m. ET
Article Reviewed by Alanna Murray
Last year, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet issued a new Energy Agenda which was used to set the foundation for a national energy policy. The plan addressed several issues in the energy industry, and as it executes, Chile’s renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors would compete on a more even level with conventional energy. Over the years, there has been a need for a more strategic and cohesive government structure of the energy sector. Existing and projected plants have caused significant social and environmental damage. However, many of the newer conventional energy projects are delayed or hindered by legal appeals, and renewable energy has been held back by several regulatory obstacles. Many experts predicted an upcoming energy crisis in the near future, where the country would not have enough generation to power continued growth in the economy, particularly in the mining sector. As a result, the Energy Agenda was the solution to these issues. As the cost of solar and wind power declines, renewable energy has become increasingly attractive to power-hungry mining companies – one of Chile’s biggest industries. Now more than ever Chile has pioneered more alternatives to conventional power after years of shouldering some of the world’s highest energy costs. “Unlike in developed countries where the main driver of renewable energy development has been the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions, that isn’t the principal driver here, but rather energy security and competitive prices,” said Fernando Hentzschel, the director of development and technology at Cifes. One of the most common of renewable energy outlets for Chile is the use of solar energy. The solar radiation levels in the Atacama, a plateau in South America/Chile, are some of the highest in the world – making an ideal location for producing solar power. This is definitely a huge opportunity for the mining industry as well as many other industries or companies that would thrive off of renewable, mainly solar energy.
The following article, in my opinion, ties in perfectly with chapter three of the course. It deals with much of Chile’s history and geography, and how that affects the market and potential business ventures. Also, how the new implemented Energy Agenda has opened up many opportunities for several industries to thrive off of the natural resources and how the process adapts to the high levels of solar radiation.