Nowadays, the energy sector in Chile faces a strategic decision from the point of view of the generation sources. Fundación Chile, Ernst Basler + Partner Chile, the Swiss Embassy, the Chilean-Swiss Chamber, and the Chilean Association of Municipalities held a meeting on Thursday, June 12th, in the Chilean Association of Municipalities with the goal of deepening about local energy strategies and how it is possible to apply this approach in the country at the municipal level.
On that occasion, mayors and municipal technical teams knew about the functioning of the certification tool of energy cities, their operation in Switzerland and its advantages and prospects of the implementation in our country.
In this line, Swiss experts made known “Energiestadt”, certification of energy cities, a tool that has 25 years in operation with more than 350 certified municipalities and 300 municipalities in the accreditation process. For its success, other countries have decided to adapt this tool to their reality; there are currently 21 countries in the European Community and Asia that have successfully implemented this tool.
“The benefits of “Energiestadt” and the local energy concepts are multiple; it allows us to measure the energy sustainability and to benchmark between municipalities, it also allows us to reduce energy costs in the operation in the medium and long term, and it can be used as a tool for monitoring and evaluation in the community. However, its main advantage is the proactive and inclusive model that it promotes, allowing to bring out the communities of its state of permanent opposition and making them feel part of a decentralized and participatory energy policy, “said Andreas Meyer, Novaenergie AG and expert in the certification of energy cities.
“We have a lot of experience; it has worked in different geographies, so there is no reason why it could not work well in Chile. Each municipality has a different situation because it has different features, but there is experience and availability “added Frank Schürch, counselor of the Swiss Embassy.
Meanwhile, Nicola Borregaard of the Ministry of Energy, said “To have energy is a necessary condition for growth, economic development and for greater social inclusion.”
The situation in Chile
The experience has shown that the role of municipalities is essential for the diversification of the energy matrix, incorporating the NCRE and issues of energy efficiency at local level.
The director of Policy, Strategy and Society of the area of Sustainability of Fundación Chile, Martín Elton, noted “Chile is a poor country in fossil fuels, but it is a very rich country in the energies of the future. This methodology not only allows decentralization but also the use of the energy potential of each municipality generating new business opportunities for the community. “
The idea is to replicate the experience of Energy Cities in Chile despite the differences with other countries and the heterogeneity of municipalities. In this regard, the President of the Chilean Association of Municipalities, Mayor of Maipú, Christian Vittori referred to the meeting “For municipalities the issue of energy is key to local development. We are the main drivers in our municipalities of clean, cheap, and sustainable energies, we hope that this meeting will allow mayors deepen the commitment to have municipalities with clean energy. ”
Because of this, Ernst Basler + Partner (Switzerland) and Fundación Chile decided to enhance their experience and capability, working together on energy advice of Chilean municipalities. In this line they referred to the work being done in Vitacura and Antofagasta.
“With the implementation stage of the energy strategy Vitacura 30/30 we are entering to the final stretch, work in which there will be implemented programs designed during the diagnosis carried out last year. In Antofagasta, the support of the British Embassy through the Prosperity Fund and CREO Antofagasta will be essential to define the project profiles and achieve the involvement of multiple stakeholders, who will make the energy strategy of the city a reality”, said Fernando Coz, Project Manager of Policy, Strategy and Society of Fundación Chile.
Meanwhile, Roger Walther, Director of South America Region of Ernst Basler + Partner, said “In Vitacura the solar radiation is high, which could be used for the installation of technologies such as photovoltaic for electricity generation. With the solar potential available, you can supply about 60% of the electricity demand of the municipality. The geothermal potential is an interesting potential of NCRE for the production of thermal energy.”