Clean energy for Chile

Solar and wind energy are an integral part of the electricity sector. Looking back at a project and its impact.

New wind and solar parks

Project: Public Properties For Grid-­Connected Renewable Energy Projects
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety
Term: 2008 to 2011

THEN: For a long time, hydropower was the main source of energy in Chile. ­Following extended periods of drought, the country’s focus shifted to investing in gas-fired power stations in the 1990s, but even this was not enough to safeguard supply: an energy crisis in Argentina led to shortages in the supply of gas in 2004. Consequently, Chile built several coal-fired power stations, but these were powered by imported coal and caused high levels of emissions. Very little use was made of renewable energy – although sun and wind are available in abundance. There was also no government plan outlining which areas were suitable for new wind turbines and solar parks.
NOW: Solar and wind energy are now an integral part of the Chilean electricity sector and are gaining in importance. On behalf of the German Federal Environment Ministry, GIZ proved that many state-owned areas in the north of the country offer considerable potential for generating renewable energy. It therefore instigated a close partnership between the Chilean Ministry of Energy and Ministry of National Assets. Areas deemed particularly suitable were earmarked and could no longer be used for mining, for example. New wind parks were constructed. Plants with a capacity of more than 200 megawatts have been built, and others with a capacity of 300 megawatts are under construction. New areas are constantly being put out to tender, thus further ­increasing the supply of clean electricity.


published in akzente 2/17