Chile proposes renewables portfolio quota for utilities

Chile’s Energy and Economy ministers have submitted to Congress a law that would require Chile’s electric utilities to supply up to 15 percent of their power from non-conventional renewable energies, including hydropower by 2010.

Newly named Energy Minister Marcelo Tokman and Economy Minister Alejandro Ferreiro outlined the initiative April 10, saying the proposed law would require utilities to increase their �Energias Renovables No Convencionales� (ERNC) supply by 5 percent per year to reach the 2010 goal. Failure to do so would result in fines of US$24 per megawatt not credited per year.

The officials said eligible renewables would include wind, solar, geothermal, and small hydropower. Such sources currently supply about 2.4 percent of Chile’s 12,326 MW of installed capacity.

The ministers said the government hopes to increase the current 294 MW of ERNC capacity by 200 MW by 2010, 360 MW by 2011, and by 900 MW by 2020.

Tokman called the program a high priority for the government, which hopes to reduce its dependence of fossil fuels for power generation.

Chilean economic development officials convened a workshop in March to help developers apply for study funding for non-conventional renewable energy projects, including hydropower projects of up to 20 MW. (HNN 2/20/07) 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.

For additional 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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