ENERGY SCENARIO IN CHILE AND PROJECTIONS FOR 2050
Infographic © Dominique Bruneau S. for LOFscapes based on World Bank estimates, CO2 Emissions (metric tons per capita). In: https://datos.bancomundial.org/indicador/EN.ATM.CO2E.PC?locations=CL • Ministry of Energy, Figure 4: Generación Eléctrica Histórica y Figura 9: (Historic Electric Generation and Figure 9) Consumo De Energía Final En Teracaloria. (Consumption in Teracalories)In Chile’s Energy Policy 2050 • Background Image: Dominique Bruneau, Nevada (2016)
The Infographic of this week presents the temporal relationship between the increase of CO2 emissions and the increase in the proportional use of fossil fuels between the 1960s and the present in Chile. Will the 2050 Energy Plan reverse this situation?
Although the contribution of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from Chile is lower compared to developed countries, it has been constantly increasing. In fact, the 2006 rates show GHG emissions doubling with respect to the rates in 1990 (1). Approximately 80% of these emissions are attributed to the use of fossil fuels, whose presence still accounts for about 65% of our energy matrix (2).
(1) Ministry of the Environment, Second National Communication of Chile before the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (Chile: MMA, 2011) p 437 and 439.
(2) Subsectors such as Industry, Mining, and Transport base their operations on petroleum derivatives or natural gas (in the case of transport, energy came almost 99% from petroleum derivatives). Ministry of Energy, Energía 2050 – Política Energética de Chile (Chile: Min. Energía, 2015) p.23 and 27 <http://www.energia2050.cl/uploads/libros/libro_energia_2050.pdf>,
In this scenario, in 2016 the government drafted the Energy 2050 plan which includes medium- and long-term energy policies. It establishes the importance of compatibility of energy production projects with the environment to consolidate the sector as “reliable, sustainable, inclusive and competitive” (3). The document also establishes the increased contribution of Renewable Energies and Non-Conventional Renewable Energies (NCRE) to the energy matrix converting it from its base of predominantly fossil fuel with this new initiative. This initiative is not a minor move especially considering that in 2014 approximately 90% of our energy was fossil fuel in origin. The initiative Energy 2050 proposes that Renewable Energies should reach a 60% proportion in the energy matrix by 2035 and 70% by 2050, with the expectation that NCRE will be at 40% of participation by 2035 (4). It is important to clarify that although hydroelectric power is considered one of the main renewable sources, diversifying the matrix by incorporating NCRE to minimize consequences of climate change on hydrological resources is a necessary step. Thus, to make better use of the diverse Chilean territory, its potential must be put to better use.
(3) The 4 main pillars presented in the document are: Safety and Quality of Supply, Energy as an Engine of Development, Compatibility with the Environment and Efficiency, and Energy Education. Ministry of Energy, Energy 2050 – Energy Policy of Chile, (Chile: Min. Energy, 2015) p 10
(4) Ministry of Energy, Energy 2050 – Energy Policy of Chile, (Chile: Min. Energy, 2015) p 14
The Infographic of this week presents the temporal relationship between the increase of CO2 emissions and the increase in the proportional use of fossil fuels between the 1960s and the present in Chile. The growing share of fossil fuels detracts from renewable sources (mainly hydroelectric), which reached approximately 65% at the beginning of the period in question. (5) The goals of the plan Energy 2050 are also projected so as to reduce CO2 emissions. However, as can be seen, the current energy matrix shows a preponderance of energy sources such as oil and coal, which together make up 50% of the matrix, while NCREs today do not even reach 1% of the total.