Chile has renewable energy resources, of sufficient quality and quantity, to transform our country into an exporter of clean energy. Only the Atacama Desert has a renewable potential greater than 2 TW, which can be exploited with solar technologies. And in the central-south zone, the wind potential reaches 81 GW. If you have these advantages, Why are we still energetically dependent?
A few days ago, the Government of Chile announced an agreement with Argentina, which will allow the import of natural gas to supply this fuel mainly in the Biobío and Ñuble regions, anticipating a 15% drop in prices for end users.
The recent history of energy integration between Chile and Argentina has not been seen with a long-term perspective, since it is enough to remember the supply cut more than a decade ago. It is necessary to ensure a medium and long term energy supply, at competitive costs and not to support an energy matrix in annual agreements. In other latitudes, considering the war between Russia and Ukraine and its impact on the nations of the European Union, the relevance of the strategic definition of the countries regarding the sources of energy supply and their suppliers has also become clear.
For this reason, it is necessary to advance in infrastructure that facilitates energy integration in a multilateral manner, considering the design and construction of electricity and gas distribution networks that allow interconnection throughout South America. Therefore, Chile must not only strengthen trade relations with Argentina, but also with Peru and Bolivia, using these markets as a platform to distribute our renewable energy sources throughout the region, ensuring stable and resilient consumption. A good design of energy distribution networks will reduce the pressure on energy storage systems, since the network itself will allow renewable sources to be managed.
Likewise, our solar potential can promote sustainable development, leaving behind the dependence on fossil fuels. Some studies project that, by 2035, Chile could provide 30% of the electrical energy that will be consumed in South America from solar sources in the Atacama desert. Therefore, it is necessary to move forward in attracting investments that allow the exploitation of our renewable sources and progress in the milestones defined in the national green hydrogen strategy. Only in this way will we be a key player in the production of clean and renewable energy for a carbon neutral planet.