Ministry of Energy of Chile and Institute of the Americas Host Chile Energy Policy Roundtable

Friday, January 25, 2013

On November 12, 2012, the Institute of the Americas hosted the Chile Energy Roundtable in Santiago. Participants highlighted the importance of increasing transmission infrastructure and the need to connect the nation’s two electric grids in an effort to counteract high energy costs and strike a balance between sustainable development and economic growth. Addressing an audience of almost 100 representatives from across Chile and the hemisphere, Chile’s Minister of Energy Jorge Bunster said that “today we have a fragile system in terms of transmission”. He added that Chile’s “energy future must be diversified. We need to enhance the resources the country has; hydroelectricity and also non-conventional renewable energy sources, but without casting aside conventional energy”.

Chile currently imports roughly 60% of its energy needs.

Roundtable participants agreed that a more diversified energy matrix will enhance Chile’s energy security and foster low carbon economic growth. But in order to continue building a more secure and competitive energy mix in Chile, three fundamental aspects must be at the forefront of policy considerations: i) price, ii) pollution, and iii) stability of the supply. Moreover, and as most participants concurred, a cleaner mix of energy generation must be a national goal and challenge that all Chileans work to solve. In response to these challenges, the Government of Chile has designed a 20-year strategy geared toward developing an energy matrix that is cleaner, more cost-effective and provides for greater energy security.