Chilean government shows increasing enthusiasm for geothermal

Chile’s Undersecretary of Energy, Ricardo Irarrázaba, highlighted the geothermal potential of the country, and his government’s commitment to take advantage of this energy resource.

The geothermal potential of explored areas in Chile is around 3000MW, which with the possible uses of thermal energy in Chile “places us, again, in a privileged place worldwide for the electrical or thermal use of this energy source”, he noted.

The Undersecretary made these remarks during the opening speech of the 6th Geothermal Congress for Latin America and the Caribbean (GEOLAC) held in Santiago, Chile last month.

The Undersecretary spoke of the country’s efforts to eliminate entry barriers to the renewable energy market and highlighted the steps and commitments in Chile’s energy route.

“Geothermal energy is one of those that is called to add to the prominence of renewable energies, having complementary characteristics to variable renewable energies, to be able to deliver a basic, manageable supply, with 24/7 availability, invariable before fluctuations climate and have a high plant factor, in addition to sharing the advantages of being a clean, renewable and own energy source”, said Undersecretary Irarrázaba.

Virginia Brandon, a World Bank representative in Chile remarked that “the Southern Cone has a vast experience that could be replicated at regional and global level.” Ms. Brandon also highlighted the work the Chilean government had undertaken with the World Bank on geothermal development and other renewable technologies in the context of the Paris Agreement targets and the countries Nationally Determined Contributions, and spoke of the leadership role the country have taken as hosts of the next United National COP25.

The World Bank is currently the largest multilateral source of financing for geothermal development. This financing, which has reached USD 2.3 billion over the last few decades, allows countries to diversify their energy matrix with a reliable and clean energy source.