Energy Minister and University of Chile’s researchers meet to develop new energy policies

Monday, 26 de September

CEGA Director, Dr. Diego Morata was part of the team who prepared the document “Linking Energy Ministry – University of Chile”, which contains proposals to advance the development of the national energy plan from different disciplines, and that includes strengthening of geothermal energy as part of the strategy to turn Chile into a leading exporter of renewable energies.

Last Monday (April 21) the Ministry of Energy, headed by the Minister Pacheco, along with researchers from the University of Chile, met to discuss and debate on the report prepared by the University with proposals for the development of a national energy policy. The preparation of the document entitled “Linking Energy Ministry – University of Chile ” involved six colleges and the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Chile. It delivers 36 general and 42 specific proposals. The goal of this document, as highlighted by the report, was ” to provide concrete proposals of principles and criteria for the formation of energy policy in the country”. The work was carried by a committee of 29 scholars and researchers and was requested by the Minister of Energy , Maximo Pacheco, to the Principal of the University of Chile, Prof. Victor Perez . Proposals submitted will be considered by the government’s Energy Agenda , which will be published during mid-May.

Minister Pacheco said that “University of Chile should and can become a platform for building the challenges we have as a country: to have sufficient energy at reasonable prices in a competitive market, where we develop projects in a sustainable manner,”adding: “This university has the ability to approach in a holistic and comprehensive way all the complexity that this challenge has, which is not only a problem of engineering, sociology, environmental or land use, but is the sum of all that and more. I think the University, with its universal character, is the one that can, along with us, have a leading role in that process”.

At the meeting, which lasted about three hours, participants were divided into four groups to discuss the key issues suggested by the Ministry of Energy: energy efficiency and demand management, competition in the sector, Renewable Energies, and the role of the State. Each group drew conclusions that were presented to the public and recorded by the Ministry division heads and staff at the University. The Minister thanked the contributions and stressed that “this must be the start for us to develope some projects to work in the long term, jointly by the Ministry and the University.”

CEGA’s approach to the national energy policy

For Diego Morata, CEGA Director, the meeting was a concrete signal to advance in the development of renewable energies in Chile: “To approach this university directly, where the main research centers are housed and lead a meeting where concrete proposals and action were discussed is a very positive first sign for the new Ministry administration, if they want to create an informed new energy policy”, says Morata, who identified the following as key areas for the launching of geothermal energy in Chile:

– Advance in the knowledge of Chilean geothermal resource potential with state of the art methodologies, including geological, economic, social and environmental variables.
– Higher involvment from the State through the implementation of financial tools such as a risk mitigation insurance.
– Encourage the use of low enthalpy geothermal energy and thus generate high energy savings with large social impact.
– Increase participation of society in geothermal developments.
– Increase human resources in geothermal and strengthen research in this area, since the geothermal systems in Chile have unique geological features.

Source: Communications FCFM – Communications CEGA