Chilean President announces country’s energy policy at Chacayes run-of-river power plant

28 February 2012

President Sebastián Piñera announced this morning Chile’s National Energy Policy 2012-2030, highlighting the importance of hydropower for the development of the country’s energy matrix.

Mr Piñera said that Chile must become a “hydro super power” and highlighted the main aspects of the National Energy Policy (ENE), which is based on six areas: growing the country with energy efficiency, a boost to Non-Conventional Renewable Energies, the role of traditional energies, a new focus on transmission networks, a more competitive energy market, and advancing in the options for the energy interconnection.

Pacific Hydro general manager Chile José Antonio Valdés was proud of Mr Piñera’s decision to announce the policy at the company’s Chacayes run-of-river power plant. “This reflects the importance of hydro power and particularly of run-of river hydro power projects, which use water, one of Chile´s greatest resources, in an economic, efficient and sustainable way.”

“These projects are an important contribution for the country and an attractive alternative for developing our energy matrix. Run-of river hydro power stations can supply up to 10,000 MW of clean energy to Chile,” said Mr Valdés.

Mr Valdés also mentioned that “we trust that the Parliament will play an important role in supporting this strategy. We believe it is essential that the current legislation discriminating run-of-river hydro power plants with capacity above 20 MW is amended.”

Mr Valdés said he welcomes the announcements because they will help the country with enlarging the energy system and making it safer, as well as facing the bottlenecks such as transmission issues and the challenges of easements and concessions systems, among others.

“Energy is essential for Chile’s growth and Pacific Hydro has a long term plan for developing up to 600 MW in run-of river hydro power projects that will contribute to this goal.”