Local energy strategies: promoting non conventional energy resources at a national level

Publicado: 18 June, 2015
Sustainability

During the next 20 years more than 60% of power generation investments will be destined towards renewable energy at a global scale, according to the International Energy Agency. However, in Chile there are many impediments to the development of clean energy such as associated costs, lack of financial mechanisms, information asymmetries, and the shortage of trained installers in this area.

In this regard, Fundación Chile is currently working on the development of Local Energy Strategies (Estrategias Energéticas Locales, EEL) that seek to improve energy security, citizen’s involvement, stability of power costs, and responsible use of resources. This initiative incorporates the community from the beginning, building an energy strategy in line with the local reality.

This tool allows establishing an initial diagnosis, where energy consumption of the commune is analyzed, identifying the needs and benefits that clean energy offers. With this collection of information, local authority proposes goals in terms of NCER use and energy saving. Projects are created from the analysis, goals, and the community. These projects help achieve the objectives and energy initiatives are created according to the needs of each city or commune, promoting an early community involvement.

Local Energy Strategies (EEL) seek to improve energy security, citizen’s involvement, energy stability costs, and the responsible use of resources. This initiative incorporates the community from the very beginning, building an energy strategy in line with the local reality.

“Promoting citizen’s participation in adopting a culture of decentralized energy generation, enhancing energy efficiency, and the introduction of local energy resources is essential to achieving sustainable energy development”, stated Fernando Coz, Fundación Chile’s Chief of Sustainable Energy Project.

As of now, this initiative has been taking place in the commune of Vitacura, along with Swiss Consultors Ernst Basler + Partner, where energy sensitizing has been promoted in municipal schools, through photovoltaic solar systems. In addition, the Program techo30+, that seeks to install solar panels in more than 30 rooftops in Vitacura, was developed, as well as an association of the neighbors by means of an energy cooperative.

In addition, the Chilean Ministry of Energy along with Antofagasta’s CREO, and Fundación Chile, have implemented an EEL in the city  of Antofagasta, which prioritized efficient public lighting, solar schools, and green credits to promote a sustainable economy. Currently, this tool has been applied in the communes of Caldera, Temuco, Coyhaique, Peñalolén and Monte Patria, as part of the Ministry of Energy’s pilot program.

The Head of Fundación Chile’s Sustainable Energy Project stresses that “this pilot experiences will serve as an example to demonstrate that municipalities and actors of the local ecosystem have a fundamental role in energy decentralization and the incorporation of NRCE in the matrix”.