Solar now accounts for over half (57%) of Chile’s renewable energy pipeline, according to a recent report from Chile’s Centre of Renewable Energy (CER). To date, though, only a fraction of the approved projects have been built — about 6.7 MW worth.
The most recent additions to the pipeline are two solar power plants totaling 165 MW. Chile’s total renewable energy portfolio is now 13.352 GW — about 68% of which has been CER approved, with the other 32% or so is awaiting qualification.
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So far, there is a gap of 7,667 MW between projects that have been approved and those that have been completed across all renewable types. The gap has widened with recent applications; since September 722 MW of renewable proposals have entered the process for a CER environmental impact assessment, 714 MW of which is accounted for by four solar plants. The remaining 7.7 MW is mini-hydro.
Just 6.7 MW of solar, 0.5% of all renewables energy generation, is currently in operation, including isolated, off-grid solar. As of this month, on- and off-grid solar under construction stands at 126 MW. As of September 2013, renewables accounted for 6.06% of total energy generation in Chile or 1.069 GW – mainly in the central interconnected system (SIC) grid.
SIC now has 96% renewable energy generation – 4% of which is distributed to Northern Interconnected Electricity system (known as SING) and Aysén and Magallanes Lakes. Overall renewables project approval increased by 15% between July and August after changes to the renewable energy law.
Total energy applications — of any type (including non-renewable) — decreased by about 7.5% in September, but that decrease was experienced primarily by non-renewables — renewable applications fell by only 0.5%.