News

World Cup Special: Chile, its win over Spain and geothermal

Eduardo Vargas after scoring the first goal in the Spain game (source: screenshot of FIFA TV)
Alexander Richter 20 Jun 2014

With its win over Spain, Chile will join the best football nations in the next round of the ongoing World Cup in Brazil. Will the geothermal sector of the country also be able to move to the next round and see some real development?

What on earth does football (or soccer as our North American friends call it) have to do with geothermal you might ask. Well probably does not relate to geothermal at all. But watching the great game that Chile had against Spain, winning the last tournament World Cup holders, it got me thinking of how important these things are for a nation.

Seeing pictures of jubilant masses of people in Santiago in Chile to celebrate their national team is wonderful. It shows unity and national pride that it quite remarkable.

Winning its first two games, Chile already made it to the next round. No matter what happens next, this is a great accomplishment.

So but now to how this connects to geothermal. Well both Spain and Chile have been in the news on their geothermal efforts. While the hope of Spain’s geothermal industry pretty much were put on hold with the financial crisis of 2008/09, Chile has dominated news from the Spanish speaking geothermal world for quite some time. But for the past year or so things have turned rather quiet.

Development seems like to have stalled, despite of the investment of Energy Development Corp. (EDC) from the Philippines when it bought assets in the country from Australian Hot Rock and Canadian Alterra Power (Magma Energy). Otherwise it has become quiet about projects by Enel and Energia Andina (the latter with the support of Origin from Australia).

There is though hope this might change. With the recent cancellation of a $9 billion hydro-power projects, one can only hope that there will be a renewed focus on Chile to live up to its geothermal potential and utilize it for sustainable baseload power it needs for the increasing energy demand.

So while we cross our fingers for the Chilean football team in the ongoing Football World Cup in Brazil, we hope that it will also continue its path as enthusiastically for renewable energy and in particular geothermal.

Oh in case you have no idea what is going on in Brazil, check out the World Cup via the fine website of the BBC