Mainstream supports renewable energy seminar in Southern Chile

  • This main focus of this energy seminar was to showcase the characteristics and benefits of NCRE through an open dialogue with experts from the energy and electricity sectors.
  • The Ministry for Energy’s Regional Secretary (Seremi), Felipe Porflit, provided a local insight into the sector and introduced participants to the Ministry’s “Ruta Energética” (Energy Road Map).

The Chilean Association of Renewable Energy and Storage, ACERA AG., once again held a “REGIONAL NCRE SEMINAR”, this time in the southern Chilean Region of Los Ríos. This initiative, which targets the local authorities and civil society of each region, aims to showcase the characteristics and benefits of NCRE.  Mainstream Renewable Power sponsored the event, which was attended by Regional Counsellors and Directors, Regional Government and representatives of COSOC (the Civil Society Community Council) among others.

Carlos Finat, Executive Director of ACERA, opened the event with his presentation on the national energy sector, which highlighted the importance of carrying out informative activities such as this in different regions across the country. “The seminar that we held in Valdivia was very important for ACERA. It allowed us to learn more about how the authorities and civil society think and feel about the relationship that they have with the energy sector in this region. It also gave us the opportunity to clear up any doubts and myths relating to this topic. We heard some very interesting and diverse opinions regarding the presence of NCRE in the region of Los Ríos, but one thing was very clear: this region is, as yet, an untapped source of energy which, if exploited, could be of huge benefit to both the country and the region.”

Next up was the Ministry for Energy’s Regional Secretary, Felipe Porflit, who provided a local insight into the energy sector. “The Government of President Sebastián Piñera is committed to promoting clean and eco-friendly energy sources and we believe that renewable energy is here to stay. These energy sources are extremely competitive and it is our opinion that these technologies will be used to expand the Chilean energy matrix. This is why we want to focus on facilitating this process. We want to boost sustainable development, as this will help to give people a better quality of life. In order to do this, we must make the most of our natural resources and, above all, encourage dialogue with local communities and focus on getting social licences for energy generation projects”, says Felipe Porflit.

Diego Morata, Director of the Los Andes Centre of Excellence for Geothermal Energy – CEGA, presented the case of an awarded winning geothermal energy initiative that was developed in collaboration with the Gendarmerie of Patagonia. As part of a social reinsertion program, geothermal energy was used to power and maintain a greenhouse. Speaking about this project, Diego Morata said, “Talking to different regions about the positive experience that we had in the Aysen Region with regional government-funded projects, opens our eyes to the benefits that sustainable development could provide in other communities. Repeating this greenhouse project or developing other initiatives such as wood-drying or regional heating projects in areas that have high potential provides an excellent platform for improvement.”

Cecilia Dastres, from the Ministry for Energy’s Division of Social Participation and Dialogue gave the closing presentation. She spoke about the importance of working hand in hand with communities when developing projects and stressed that contact should be made at a very early stage in order to ensure that communities are really involved in these energy projects.

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