Chile to develop two marine energy pilot programs with IDB support
Chile will launch two marine energy pilots on the southern coast of the country, an initiative that aims at supporting the development of this energy source in the country, contributing to foster energy security for the country and the diversification of its economy. This initiative will explore the potential of this clean technology, which so far has not been exploited in the country and that, according to a study commissioned by the IDB, could potentially generate between 100GW and 200GW, which is equivalent to about 15 times the capacity currently installed in Chile.
The project, funded by a technical cooperation of the Inter-American Development Bank of US$2.95 million, includes US$2.4 million in grant investment for two pilot programs. The first pilot will focus on tidal energy while the second will use the power generated by waves. This technical cooperation is complemented by a total of US$550,000 in technical support to accompany the implementation of these pilot programs.
"In terms of energy needs, Chile is the second least self-sufficient country in Latin America after Panama, and currently imports 75 % of its energy resources. So far, the potential of tidal power has not been used in the country or elsewhere in Latin America, but has a huge potential, "said Christoph Tagwerker, consultant at the Climate Change and Sustainability division of the IDB." Chile now has a great opportunity to change its dependency on foreign energy and to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions of. In fact, it is one of the countries with the highest marine resources and solar energy of the Latin American region.”
Two companies that will be selected by the Chilean Government will benefit from this technical cooperation, and will be responsible for the design, construction and operation of these pilot programs. Tidal and wave energy are new in Chile and there have been no previous experiences in this field and the IDB will provide technical assistance to the government throughout the entire execution of the program, from the bidding process to the operation of these new marine energy facilities.