The international organization of environmental protection CNRD (Council for the Natural Resources Defense) announced the first study to compare the relative costs of power generation between traditional and unconventional renewable energy sources (URE) in Chile. The report notes that biomass, biogas, geothermal, small hydro and wind power and are economically viable, and solar photovoltaic and solar thermal it will be very soon.
The report was presented on Wednesday before the Committee on Mines and Energy of the Senate and to the Committees of Mines and Energy and Natural Resources of the House of Representatives, with great interest of parliamentarians. The presentation was made by the team of CNRD and Professor Roberto Román, CNRD expert at the University of Chile, who demystified the beliefs that say the national energy demand will double that in CNRD prohibitively expensive, and HidroAysén is the only solution to meet energy demand in the country.
“Given the high quality renewable resources in Chile, solar resources are the best in the world, falling prices on URE technology and increased fossil fuel prices, there are important sources of URE generation that are currently competitive in Chile, and will increasingly, “Douglass said Sims, a lawyer and finance specialist with CNRD’s energy projects.
Among its key findings, the report said that currently the cost of producing wind energy is already competitive with traditional sources such as hydropower and coal-fired power plants, and that by 2020 this competition will be even greater. Another key result is that major cost reductions in Chile will be in the field of solar technologies.
By 2030, almost all renewable technologies are more expensive than energy production technologies based on fossil fuel, even without taking into account the externalities that each source of energy on health and the environment, without considering the costs of transmission. Including these costs in the calculation, URE become more competitive today. “You can clearly see how the price of HidroAysén grows when including the costs of the transmission line,” Sims said about it.
The report also confirms that fossil fuel prices increase and thus the price of energy sources based on it. URE, meanwhile, does not use “fuel” and does not suffer from these increases. In the coming years, some URE compete to be the least expensive energy alternative country, partly because Chile will benefit from the widespread use of technologies of renewable energy worldwide, mainly in China, the United States and Europe, thereby reducing equipment costs.