The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Chile Approves 3.1 GW of Solar PV Projects

A tally of renewable energy projects approved and in development in Chile illustrates the promise of one of the industry's top emerging markets.

The Centro de Energías Renovables (CER), or Renewable Energy Center, in Chile says that over 3.1 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy projects were approved in 2012 through November, and another 908 megawatts (MW) were in qualification awaiting approval. For all renewable energy projects (hydro, wind, biomass, solar, and geothermal), the CER counts 6.7 GW of renewable energy projects approved in Chile, and another 3.8 GW in the wings. Roughly 1.27 GW spanning 10 projects was added in November, an increase of 530 MW over the previous month. (Here's the official document in Spanish.)

NPD Solarbuzz sees Chile as one of the leaders in the emerging Latin American/Caribbean market for renewable energy, particularly solar PV (mainly ground-mount), thanks to a combination of net metering, Renewable Portfolio Standards, and other policies.

Providentially, as another vote of confidence, First Solar has just acquired Chilean project developer Solar Chile, which has various utility-scale projects totaling 1.5 GW in northern Chile, including the planet's highest solar irradiated region, the Atacama Desert. (First Solar's own project pipeline has 3 GW of projects contracted to utilities, 2 GW of that under construction.)

The CER report shows just how far and fast Chile's renewable portfolio is coming along — roughly 4-GW in approved or awaiting-approval solar capacity compares to just 2.4 MW of solar in operation and 2.5 MW officially under construction. For wind, Chile has approved 3.25 GW and has another 2.7 GW in process, but only 205 MW in operation and 107 MW being built. Grand total: over 10.5 GW of projects approved or under assessment vs. 880 MW in operation and 281 MW under construction.


Status of NCRE projects in Chile, in megawatts. (Source: CER)

Here's another illustration of Chile's renewable growth profile (particularly solar PV), comparing CER's data that tracks approved and unbuilt projects from 2009-2012:

"Chile faces a growing energy demand from its sustained economic growth," said Hernán Cheyre, executive VP of CORFO, the Chilean government's economic development agency, quoted in the First Solar-Solar Chile press release. Solar energy in particular has "tremendous potential [to] change the demography and the economy of northern Chile, opening it up to new opportunities beyond mining and fishing, into water desalinization, hydrogen production or large green data centers," added Alvaro Fischer, president of Fundación Chile and an early investor in Solar Chile who will remain as a consultant.

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox - FREE!

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World Magazine and our award-winning e-Newsletter to stay up to date on current news and industry trends.

 Subscribe Now


US Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Bill That Restores PTC and Extends ITC

Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg Senate Democrats unveiled a bill that would provide more tax credits for renewable energy while killing some tax ince...

US, China Solar PV Players Team Up, Invest $100MM in Chile, Uruguay and Japan

Andrew Burger Private equity infrastructure specialist Hudson Clean Energy Partners and Hong Kong-based independent power producer ...

CEO Gilles: Challenge in Geothermal is to 'Level Playing Field' with Wind, Solar

Jennifer Delony The current challenge for the geothermal energy industry is what U.S. Geothermal CEO Dennis Gilles calls “leveling th...

NRG Energy to Form Renewable Unit, Sell Wind Assets to Yieldco

Mark Chediak and Matthew Monks, Bloomberg NRG Energy Inc., the worst-performing member of the S&P 500 Utilities Index this year, said it will form a renewa...


IREC Announces Changes in Regulatory Team

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), a not-for-profit organization which for...

Fronius Shifting the Limits in Solar-Plus: It’s not just about products, it’s about solutions.

Fronius USA, who just recently launched the all-new Fronius SnapINverter line this past...

Power Engineering and Renewable Energy World Magazines Name Projects of the Year Awards Finalists

Tulsa, Okla. and Nashua, N.H., Oct. 5, 2015 -- The editors of Power Engineering and Ren...

Solar Frontier's CIS Modules Selected For 14 MW Module Supply Agreement In The Midwestern US

Solar Frontier's advanced technology, CIS modules are selected for a 14 megawatt module...


ENER-G CHP technology selected for major London housing scheme

ENER-G has been selected to supply combined heat and power (CHP) technology for phase two of the Leopold Estate housi...


Necessity is the mother of innovation. Our planet is going through major changes in climate. This of course will affe...

New Study: Flexible Gensets Can Boost Solar- and Win-diesel Hybrid Solutions

The genset industry reacts to growing hybrid markets with a new approach that overcomes limitations of traditional ge...

New Hampshire Promotes Better Wood Heating

New Hampshire’s location in northern New England means that the winters are long and cold. Heating costs are hi...


Jim is Contributing Editor for, covering the solar and wind beats. He previously was associate editor for Solid State Technology and Photovoltaics World, and has covered semiconductor manufacturing and related industries, ...


Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



Successfully Integrating Solar: A Proactive Approach

•      What does the increasing solar penetrati...

Canadian Solar Inverters Webinar

Canadian Solar is proud to be hosting two free webinars in October! The ...

Doing Business in Europe – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

There is now 128.8 GW of installed wind energy capacity in the EU (appro...


How To Speak, How To Listen

As sales professionals, effective communication is paramount to our succ...

The Grab Bag Rides Again

Pregame When I was sports editor for the college newspaper, I wrote a co...

Get In The Habit

We all develop habits throughout our lives. Sometimes they’re bene...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now