Promoting carbon-free energy management in Chile

Project description

Title: Decarbonisation of the Chilean energy sector
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Country: Chile
Lead executing agency: Ministerio de Energía de Chile, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente de Chile, Chilean Ministry of Energy, Chilean Ministry of the Environment
Overall term: 2019 to 2022

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Context

Chile has been experiencing high economic growth for years. As a result, its energy requirements and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have also increased. At present, around 78 per cent of Chile’s emissions are caused by the energy industry and 32 per cent of these are caused by electricity generation.

Chile’s goal is to become climate-neutral by 2050. To achieve this goal, the country has set the following emission reduction targets: It intends to phase out coal by 2040 and expand the use of renewable energy. Green hydrogen is also to contribute 21 per cent to GHG reduction.

In December 2019, Chile took on the presidency of the 25th United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP25).

Objective

The energy transition is contributing to the expansion of renewable energy. This is accompanied by a shift away from fossil fuels in the energy sector and the economy as a whole.

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Approach

The project works in four areas:

  1. It presents the previous stages of the Chilean energy transition at the COP25 and at other international events.
  2. It aims to achieve what is known as a ‘just transition’, in other words ensuring that energy supply is fair for all. The focus is on the consequences of decommissioning coal-fired power plants.
  3. It supports the expansion of volatile renewable energy sources and their integration into electricity grids. In the process, it also evaluates the social acceptance of renewable energy projects.
  4. It promotes the use of innovative technologies. This includes converting coal-fired power plants into renewable energy storage systems and developing a sustainable hydrogen economy. In addition, the project strives to use renewable energy and desalination plants to help reduce water shortages in northern Chile.

Results

  • Chile has developed a hydrogen strategy with the support of the project.
  • The decommissioning of a total of five coal-fired power plants and the expansion of renewable energy plants have contributed to a saving of more than 5.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents.

Last updated: June 2021

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