Report: Half of Chile’s renewable pipeline now solar, but only 6.7MW built

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Chile’s Centre of Renewable Energy (CER) has reported solar now makes up for more than half of the country’s renewable energy pipeline, even though only a tiny fraction of approved projects have been built.

According to CER’s October renewables pipeline report, with two new solar projects approved totalling 165MW, solar now accounts for 57% of Chile’s renewables portfolio.

Chile’s renewables portfolio totals 13.352GW, of which 68% has been CER approved and 32% awaits qualification.

So far, there is a gap of 7,667MW 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 722MW of renewable proposals have entered the process for a CER environmental impact assessment, 714MW of which is accounted for by four solar plants. The remaining 7.7MW is mini-hydro.

Just 6.7MW of solar, 0.5% of all renewables energy generation, is currently in operation, including isolated, off-grid solar.

According to CER, as of this month, on- and off-grid solar under construction stands at 126MW.

As of September 2013, renewables accounted for 6.06% of total energy generation in Chile or 1.069GW – 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 projects – renewable and non renewable – applications decreased by 7.5%, but renewable project applications only fell by 0.5%. The CER puts the general decrease down to September holidays.

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