Intersolar Summit Chile: Solar energy in the Andean country – The beginning of a success story

Not only had the Chilean national soccer team caused a sensation during the FIFA World Cup 2014, defeating the 2010 World Cup winner Spain. The Intersolar Summit Chile met with a very positive response among the participants in Santiago, the capital of Chile. The good atmosphere at the conference however could be assigned to the promising perspectives of the solar sector in the Andean country rather than the success of the Chilean kickers in Brazil.

Pforzheim / Santiago de Chile, July 01, 2014. High-ranked Chilean government officials, responsible representatives of national renewable energy associations and decision makers of the solar industry met at the Intersolar Summit in Chile on June 19 to discuss the potentials of the Chilean solar market. It was agreed upon that conditions for investments in the Chilean solar market were ideal. Summit participants shared their experiences regarding the implementation of solar projects in Chile and gathered information about framework conditions, financing possibilities and market potentials in the South American coastal country.


Chile is in the early stages of a strong solar energy development. At the moment it shows an installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity of 176 megawatts (MW). But ca. 5,500 MW PV power is said to be under construction, which have already been approved by the Chilean government. Another 3,500 MW await approval of respective authorities. In addition to that, solar thermal plants with a cumulated capacity of 800 MW are expected to be installed within the next coming years. Hence, the Intersolar Summit's presentations and discussions took place against the background of this positive outlook of the Chilean solar market.

In his presentation, Francisco Leiva, Vice President of the Chilean Solar Association, Asociación Chilena de Energía Solar (ACESOL), particularly underlined the importance of the economical operation of solar projects, which may be a main prerequisite for a successful solar energy industry in Chile. Therewith, financing options, legal framework conditions and governmental support are critical success factors, according to Leiva.

Carlos Finat, Executive Director of the Chilean association of renewable energies, Asociación Chilena de Energías Renovables (ACERA), points to the very favorable governmental conditions that currently apply. For the first time, the new energy agenda of the Chilean government favors the deployment of renewables over conventional energy production. As a consequence, ca. 20 percent of available power capacity is to be provided by renewable energies. With it, ca. 45 to 50 percent of the newly installed power production plants shall utilize renewable energy sources – a situation from which the solar industry in Chile might benefit from, Finat concludes. According to him, the biggest challenge however consists of the volatile solar power production that needs to be better integrated into the grid through governmental actions.

Another highlight of the Summit was the panel discussion, which focused on the financing of solar projects in Chile. For Verónica Martinez Saperas, who heads the department markets and finance of the governmental Centro de Energías Renovables (CER), solutions for an easy and uncomplicated acquisition of land need to be developed. Moreover, the risk of land speculation must be minimized. Claudia Valdés, Business Sub manager at Banco BICE, considers the lack of standardized financing models to be the main hindrance regarding the financing of solar projects in Chile. Reasons for that are missing experiences with the installation of solar in the country. Thus, solid financing – considering all relevant risks – is of utmost importance, Valdés continued.

Thomas Stetter, General Manager of the Chilean division of the renewable energy provider Soventix, refers to the complicated grid connection procedures in the Northern regions of Chile – even though the solar power yield is the highest. He also believes the current design of power purchase agreements (PPA) as rather unfavorable as it placed the renewable.

Against this background, Fernando Cubillos, Managing Director of the energy provider Antuko Comercialización SpA, introduced a flexible remunerations system. The so-called "virtual PPA" is more aligned to the needs of the Chilean market. Therefore, it could become an attractive financing model for PV projects, as Cubillos mentioned during the panel discussion.

Information on the Intersolar Summits

The „Intersolar Summit Chile" was supported by Premium Sponsor SMA South America, Gold Sponsor RECOM, Exhibition Partner Cintec as well as the Partner Asociación Chilena de Energías Renovables A.G.(ACERA), the Asociación Chilena de Energía Solar (ACESOL), the Agencia Chilena de Eficiencia Energética (AChEE), the German-Chilean Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CAMCHAL), the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany – Santiago de Chile, the GIZ Chile, Green City Freiburg, the Gobiernos Locales por la Sustentabilidad (ICLEI) and the Network Initiative Joint Forces for Solar. Media partner are altenergymag.com, Central Energía, ees international, ENF, Era Solar, PV Magazine Group, Renewable Energy World, Solar Builder, and Solar Power World.

For questions about the Intersolar Summit and for more information on the events, please contact Daniel Fuchs, Senior Marketing Manager: fuchs@intersolar-summit.com | +49 228 971 43 45.

More information about the Intersolar Summits from Solar Promotion International, FMMI – Freiburg Management and Marketing International as well as EuPD Research can be found on the website www.intersolar-summit.com.

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