Renewable Energy Community to unite in Chile to discuss how to exploit Chile's abundant natural reso

Huge growth is expected in the Chilean renewables sector with work already started on large-scale solar, wind and geothermal projects.

The Chilean Ministry of Energy plans four tenders for renewable energy, including Latin America's first CSP plant and a tender in October for geothermal drilling and exploration, confirming the government's commitment to the development of renewable energy in the country.

As Europe remains in the clutch of a crisis of confidence and the USA production tax credits are on hold until further notice, Latin America - Chile in particular - offers excellent opportunities for developers, manufacturers and renewable experts who want to maintain investor confidence by accessing new markets.

We recently caught up with Mr Eric Ahumada, Vice President, Business Development, Transelec to discuss what is the future of renewable energy in Chile. Talking about the government's recently issued National Energy Strategy, Mr Ahumada commended the proposals put forward as a way of increasing the amount of renewables in the energy matrix and discussed other means by which the government could further promote the development of renewable energy

"Creation of a geo-referenced database containing relevant information investors will need to make decisions about siting a NCRE project has also been suggested; new rules for tenders have been proposed that will allow NCRE projects or investors to sell their energy output collectively, get better prices and be more competitive; a new renewable energy institution and financial instruments have been proposed in order to support the sector's growth, as well as the development of technology-specific strategies to address the variety of technical obstacles specific to each type of NCRE."

He also added "In addition, subsidies and incentives for pilot projects are being promoted as a means of facilitating NCRE integration into the grid."

Mr Ahumada was speaking ahead of the Chilean International Renewable Energy Congress (CIREC), being held in September in Santiago where he will discuss issues surrounding accessing the grid and transmission and distribution networks in Chile. To read his interview in full and to read other speaker interviews, please see the website.

CIREC has been designed to examine the opportunities and assess the challenges that lie ahead and will bring together over 300 local and international players, government officials and investors from the solar, wind and geothermal power industries.

"By gathering key decision makers and experts in their fields we look forward to a lively discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of each technology and how each can play an increasing role in Chile's energy mix," said Jo-Anne Duff, Director of CIREC.

"Our sessions will provide a forum for policy makers, project developers, and renewable energy finance experts to discuss key factors that determine investment and new project planning."

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