April 6, 2021 Read More →

Chile expects record 4GW of wind, solar capacity to come online in 2021


Chile’s race to a 100% renewable grid is expected to continue this year as the addition of new projects to the country’s grid accelerates.

Starting in 2014, Chile has seen increasing participation of conventional and non-conventional renewable sources in its power matrix. In 2020, the change was more dramatic than ever, and renewable sources (including hydroelectric dams) reached 46.5% of total generation, the largest share in almost 15 years.

When it comes to non-conventional renewable sources, wind and solar participation have grown consistently in the past half-decade, with NCRE generation growing every year since 2014 and comprising over 25% of the total by the end of 2020. According to grid coordinator CEN, at the end of 2020 solar and wind made up over 23% of Chile’s total generation capacity.

The surge in clean energy generation comes as the country aims to be carbon-neutral by 2050, which involves retiring all its coal-fired capacity by 2040 as well as becoming an international player in the hydrogen economy and implementing a series of strategies to increase power consumption efficiency.

Data presented by energy commission CNE suggests Chile is about to see an explosion in new renewable additions starting this year. The regulator said at the beginning of the year that 5.9GW of new renewable capacity were under construction, with the majority expected to come online this year.

CNE data shows about 4GW of new projects are expected to start operations this year, compared with 2020 additions of 1.36GW, although the regulator’s forecasts depend on project deadlines not changing. In January 2020, CNE estimated 2.4GW of renewable projects would start operations last year, about 1GW more than the final figure.

More: Chilean renewables: 2021 expected to break new addition records

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