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Chile Part of Latin America's Renewables Surge

Chile, Mexico and Brazil are logging impressive gains in green energy.

Renewable energy investment in Latin America has soared 11-fold since 2004, twice as fast as the global rate, according to an agency report cited in the New York Times.

Chile, Mexico and Brazil are among the top 10 nations in the world achieving robust renewables growth.

The New York Times reported:

“It’s irrational, like someone has been asleep for 10 years and refuses to wake up,” said James Lee Stancampiano, the head of business development for South America at Enel Green Power, an Italian company that has played a leading role in overhauling Chile’s energy sector. “We see renewables as a train that nobody can stop.”

Guillermo Zuñiga, commissioner of Mexico Energy Regulatory Commission, told the Energy Times earlier this year, “This country enacted a couple of years ago the most comprehensive energy market reform in the last seven decades.  We have opened up sectors to new investment and new technology – to both, private national as well as foreign companies.”

Chilean officials say they hope to get 90 percent of its electricity from clean sources by 2050. That would double current reliable on clean power, the Times reported.

According to the Times:

“It doesn’t hurt that Chile’s geography offers an embarrassment of riches for renewable energy. A constellation of solar fields built in the Atacama Desert in the north, one of the driest and sunniest places on Earth, has made Chile one of the most promising markets for producers of solar panels. The sun is so strong there that workers at remote solar fields must wear protective suits and obsessively slather on thick layers of sunscreen. Scores of wind farms in the northern desert and along the country’s 2,653-mile coastline are now feeding into the national power grid. And while output from solar and wind sources is irregular, geothermal plants offer round-the-clock power, albeit at a higher cost, making the overall grid less vulnerable to disruptions,” the newspaper reported.

 

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