Top Ten Highlights of Cleantech Chile

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Chile has some of the best conditions available for the growing cleantech industry. There are many opportunities for companies within the sectors of waste management and renewable energy. A lot of the focus of cleantech in Chile is on renewable energy forms, including biomass, solar energy, wind, and hydro power. There is also a growing involvement in environmental technologies including waste and waste water, energy efficiency, and environmental quality. Because of the open economy, guarantees to foreign investors, and free market policies, Chile is becoming more of the most competitive countries for cleantech investment.

1) Chilean Agency for Energy Efficiency. Also known as AchEE, the Chilean Agency for Energy Efficiency seeks to establish institutional foundations required and the regulatory framework needed for energy efficiency, create incentives and tools to promote energy efficiency, introduce energy efficiency to formal and informal levels of training, use international experiences to increase energy efficiency development, and strengthen current institutional management. AchEE works alongside the citizens of Chile to educate them on energy efficiency and why it is essential. AchEE wants to optimize overall energy consumption for all the different sectors and supply the required tools for energy efficiency measure implementation.

2) National Commission of Energy. In Chlie, the National Commission of Energy is in charge of energy systems regulations. The objective is to guarantee effective competition of all energy systems and complete transparency. They have done a lot of energy analysis to find the best way for Chile to conserve energy in a cost effective manner. They have also published documents concerning the Kyoto Protocol and greenhouse gas emissions.

3) Canela II. In 2009, Chile began the new wind farm known as Canela II. Through the usage of wind energy, Chile looks to displace just about 90,000 tons of CO2 emissions every year. The project was developed by Endesa Eco. Endesa Eco is dedicated to the development and promotion of renewable energy, including with wind farms, biomass and solar power plants, and mini-hydroelectric plants. There are a total of 40 wind turbines currently in Canela II and they generate 60 MW and is proving to be a possible viable source of future energy consumption.

4) Chile Biofuels Technology. To reduce increased dependence on fossil fuels, Chile has been giving increased intention to biofuel technology. Currently, Chile needs to import more than 70% of their fuel as coal, gas, and oil. By reducing reliance on fossil fuels, Chile hopes it will also alleviate their current air pollution problems. There are more than 170,000 hectares available in Chile for the production of raw materials which would be used for the production of biodiesel and ethanol. Currently, Chile produces a number of crops that can be used for ethanol, including wheat, corn, and sugar beet. The government is dedicated to the development of a sustainable biofuels industry. Currently, more an $1 million has been dedicated to this task just from within Chile.

5) Algae Biofuel. Chile has invested more than $30 million to the research and development of algae biofuel technology. With the large Chilean coast, it makes for a perfect location to set up biofuel production of both micro and macroalgae. Because it does not require the usage of land fertilizer, and irrigation water, it is a better option for Chile as it will not take away land from their agricultural sector.

6) Empresas Copec. Empresas Copec is known for its investment in natural resources and energy. It is popular in the distribution of electric power generation, liquid fuels, and liquefied petroleum gas. Empresas Coped believes that taking care of the current environment is not a short-term ideal, but a long-term policy. They have numerous policies surrounding the industries of forestry, fuels, and electric powers to promote complete environmental safety.

7) Green Volt. Green Volt is a Chilean company dedicated to providing energy services, energy consultation, carbon footprint calculation, energy feasibility studies, financial advisory projects, and project implementation of energy saving measure. They do quantitative and qualitative analysis of current energy systems and provide solutions for optimizing the consumption of energy by industries, businesses, and buildings. Green Volt offers a number of services, including energy efficiency, non-conventional renewable energy, and carbon footprint. Most clients of Green Volt want to reduce their energy bills and want to take part in energy saving expenditures. Green Volt will assist clients in reducing energy costs by five to 35%, decreasing energy dependence, and reduction of emissions.

8 ) CORFO. CORFO is an investment firm in Chile that looks to assist the country in growing the innovative companies by supporting projects that make it easy to grow Chile’s national and international aspirations. Currently CORFO, has been investing a lot of money into the renewable energy sector of Chile. CORFO presently have more than 100 projects in various stages of development that are to assist in renewable energy.

9) Laws and Regulations. Chile passed the Renewable Electricity Law in 2008 which states that a minimum of 5% of all electricity sources must come from various renewable energy sources by 2010. After that, each year, it must rise by 0.5% until the goal of 10% is reached by 2024. There have also been amendments to the current Electricity Act which now allows for generation projects that are based on renewable sources.

10) Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas. As a partner of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, Chile is dedicated to energy efficiency, cleaner and more efficient fossil fuel usage, renewable energy, and renewable energy infrastructure. As a partner, Chile contributes all their resources to implement the listed initiatives.

Article by Shawn Lesser, president and founder of Atlanta-based Sustainable World Capital, which is focused on fund-raising for private equity cleantech/sustainable funds, as well as private cleantech companies and M&A. He is also a co- founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association, and can be reached at shawn.lesser@sworldcap.com

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  1. Amarjit Jowandha on

    From a global perspective, industries must adopt clean technologies to

    stay competitive globally and focus on the triple bottom line. Countries like the United States and China want to shed cost and increase value in their product offerings. As such, it is imperative that other countries follow suit and move up the value chain, supplementing their underpinnings of resourced-based or developing or emerging economies.

    Amarjit Jowandha

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