Wind of change comes to Chile

president bacheletLatin American nations are leading their Western counterparts with respect to diversity in renewable energy. Now GDF Suez has opened its 38 MW wind farm facility at Monte Redondo in Chile.

Work on the wind farm began at the start of this year, with more than $100 million being invested, as GDF Suez commits to it’s green credentials in it’s South American operations. According to estimates, Monte Redondo will prevent the emission of 54,000 tones of CO2 per year, whilst providing energy for up to 60,000 homes.

“GDF SUEZ strongly believes in Chile and in the development opportunities it offers. The Group holds broad and multiple areas of expertise in this country and intends to further reinforce them.” said Gerard Mestrallet at the inauguration

Monte Redondo will also assist in providing long term stability in energy prices, as GDF Suez has already entered into a 14 year supply contract for 100 GWh/year, beginning in January 2010. Chile has historically been dependant upon gas imports from Argentina, which have been the subject of much contention, as Argentina seeks to secure it’s own domestic energy requirements & supply has fluctuated from agreed measures.

Chilean President Bachelet said that clean energy investments have grown sharply from a mere 2 MW in 2006 to 250 MW in 2010 & it would seem that this may be only the beginning of a love affair with wind power. By the end of the 2009, a further five new wind parks will begin operating in Chile, increasing the country’s wind energy production by a factor of 10.

These new projects are slated to produce 180 MW of wind energy, dwarfing the existing 20 MW currently produced by Chile’s two existing projects. According to the National Energy Commission, other new wind turbine projects which are currently under review or in planning will soon generate 1,500 MW for the country’s Central Power Grid. To put this into perspective, the country’s largest proposed hydro-electric project, Ralco, will provide 690 MW at full capacity.

It is encouraging to see real commitment from what people in the West term “developing” markets, Chile & Brazil are world leaders in the advancement of renewable energy & also in implementation of green policies down to grass roots level. Perhaps those of us in our ivory towers in Europe & the Us should pay a little more attention to what is being implemented in the southern hemisphere.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. […] Wind of change comes to Chile « Emerging Voice mystockvoice.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/wind-of-change-comes-to-chile – view page – cached Latin American nations are leading their Western counterparts with respect to diversity in renewable energy. Now GDF Suez has opened its 38 MW wind farm facility at Monte Redondo in Chile. — From the page […]

  2. […] Original post: Wind of change comes to Chile « Emerging Voice […]

  3. Excellent move by Chile as well as GDF Suez. Climate change represents not only massive challenges, but incredible opportunities if we all address this problem objectively and without fear of “losing” whatever we may have already invested in our carbon intensive way of life to date. I wish our friends in South America continued success – and may they demonstrate and validate to us in North America that we have no monopoly on the “right” approach and that taking advantage of this scenario can be both profitable for humans and beneficial for the environment. It need not be a zero sum game.

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