Chile offers study funds for renewables, including hydro

Chilean economic development officials invite applications for study funding from developers of non-conventional renewable energy projects, including hydropower projects of up to 20 MW. Applications are due by April 9.

Corporacion de Fomento de la Produccion (CORFO) and Comision Nacional de Energia are offering up to 31 million pesos (US$60,000) per project, with a total budget of 1 billion pesos (US$1.8 million). Funds will be provided to developers of renewables projects, including hydropower, who plan to invest at least US$400,000 per project.

Funds are to be used for feasibility studies and specialized consultant services for project development, and for studies to secure carbon emissions reduction credits under the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism.

In October 2006, CORFO announced it would allot US$100 million for non-conventional renewable energy projects and would fund studies of 18 hydroelectric projects. (HNN 10/10/06) CORFO had convened the International Renewable Energy Investment Meeting in Santiago to offer investors a portfolio of at least 60 renewable energy projects, with at least half being run-of-river hydropower sites.

As a result of those efforts, the agency said it hopes that eight projects totaling 122 MW, most hydropower, will materialize in 2007-2008.

The current call for applications is the agency’s third. In 2005, 46 projects totaling more than 300 MW were approved, with CORFO subsidies of US$1.3 million and a total investment of US$400 million. In 2006, 40 projects of 300 MW were approved, with subsidies of US$1.3 million and a total investment of US$430 million.

With a responsibility to foster development of renewable energy, CORFO offers development incentives such as feasibility funding, investment match-making, soft loans, and an equity fund to leverage creation of renewables investment funds based on three parts CORFO funding and one part private funding.

For information, see CORFO’s Internet site, www.corfo.cl/renovables, or contact Javier Garcia, Energy and CDM Investment Program Coordinator, Investment and Development Division, Corporacion de Fomento de la Produccion (CORFO), E-mail: jgarcia@corfo.cl; Internet: www.corfo.cl.

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