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Government of Chile eyes legislative changes to help push geothermal development

Minister of Energy, Susana Jiménez, presenting at the V Annual Dinner of the ERNC, April 2018 (source: ACERA)
Alexander Richter 9 Aug 2018

Based on results of a recent stakeholder report on geothermal energy in Chile, the country's Minister of Energy has now announced plans for legislative and administrative changes to help push geothermal development in Chile.

With an estimated exploitable geothermal potential of between 1,300 MW and 3,800 MW, 72% of which is concentrated between the regions of Arica and Parinacota and Antofagasta in the North of Chile. The resource estimated was published as part of a report by the “Geothermal Table”, which we reported on in July.

In order to take advantage of this resource, Susana Jiménez, Minister of Energy, announced that she expects to send a new piece of legislation to promote new generation projects that use this renewable source.

During her visit to the region – due to the start of the last phase of construction of the Cerro Dominador thermosolar project – Minister Jiménez discussed the results of the report by industry and partners, which was promoted by the ministry.

“One of the achievements of the (Geothermal) Table was to establish certain measures or action plans to give geothermal power as a source of power generation, one of which is the decarbonisation, in which we have already advanced and which highlights geothermal energy. as a source of partial replacement of coal-fired generation, given its condition as a base source, that is, it produces permanently and safely, “said the minister.

Additionally, Jiménez highlighted the intention to revise the Geothermal Concessions Law and other administrative and regulatory matters.

Regarding the spirit of this legal reform project, he said that it will be a matter of analysis, “but the idea is to increase the alternatives for exploration and exploitation of geothermal energy, always safeguarding work with communities and environmental regulations. project to Congress in 2020, but that milestone could be advanced, “he warned.

The geothermal potential in the Antofagasta region is estimated to be greater than 600 MW, and with Enel and its Chilean partners eyeing a 30 MW expansion of their 48 MW geothermal power plant at Cerro Pabellon until 2020, clearly things can happen.

Source: Reporte Sostenible