Renewable Energy (Chile)

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"Due to its varied geography, Chile is a tremendous and unexploited opportunity in the renewable energy industry. Renewable energy, as defined by the International Energy Agency, is “derived from natural processes that are replenished constantly. Included in the definition is electricity and heat generated from solar, wind, ocean, hydropower, biomass, geothermal resources, and biofuels and hydrogen derived from renewable resources”. Chile imports 60% of its electrical power, and generates 40% from hydro power. The Chilean government has passed legislation promoting the development of additional renewable energy sources in an effort to decrease their dependence on foreign energy Areas of greatest potential include solar, wind, and ocean energy."

Solar

"The Atacama Desert is located in northern Chile. Believed to be the driest place on earth, the Atacama has not seen measurable rain fall since record keeping began. Parts of the coast receive fog on occasion, but not in the interior. With an average of 330 days of sun and close latitudinal proximity to the equator, the Atacama has some of the highest solar radiation levels in the world . This is an ideal location for photovoltaic solar power generation. A potential problem is the isolation of the desert region, making it expensive to develop infrastructure to distribute power throughout the country."

Wind

"Chile has 6,435 km of coastline (3,998 mi) and up to 350 nm of maritime claims. Coastal and offshore areas experience wind speeds approximately 90% greater than terrestrial areas, and power generation is a function of the cube of the wind speed, meaning power output increases dramatically as wind speed increases . Considering the amount of coastline and maritime claims in Chile, off shore and coastal wind farms would be exceptionally productive.

Mountainous regions are also ideal for wind farm development. Chile shares a 5,308 km border with Argentina defined by the crest of the Andes Mountains, the longest and second tallest mountain range in the world. Wind farm development on the coast and in the Andes Mountains would provide easily accessible renewable energy, considering the length of the coast and mountains relative to the width of the country."

Ocean

"Because of Chile’s exceptionally long coastline and dynamic ocean currents, the opportunity to harness energy from the ocean is substantial. There are a number of methods for harnessing the oceans energy. The most common are tidal and wave power. Tidal power utilizes the movement of currents and tides to create electricity. The Humboldt Current runs along the entire coast of Chile, carrying cold Antarctic water up to the equatorial region The Humboldt is a surface current, making it easy to access for tidal power at any point along the Chilean coast.

The opportunity to develop power from wave energy is mutually abundant. With 6,435 km of unprotected coastline (3,998 miles) on the Pacific Ocean, the entire coast is subject to wind and current driven waves. Once again, the length of the coast relative to the width of the country makes the logistics of energy distribution relatively simple. “Its width never exceeds 240 km (150 mi), making the country more than eighteen times longer than it is wide."

Sources:
http://internationalbusiness.wikia.com/wiki/Alternative_Energy
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0308/featur e3/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humboldt_Current.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy#Solar_energy_use
http://www.iea.org/Textbase/subjectqueries/keyresult.asp?KEYWORD_ID=4116
http://www.gtz.de/en/themen/umwelt-infrastruktur/energie/8956.htm
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ci.html#Geo