Chile and India collaborate on renewable energy plans


Chilean energy minister Jorge Bunster has met with Farooq Abdullah, Indian minister of new and renewable energy, to discuss Chile’s plans to augment and diversify its renewable energy matrix.

India hopes that the countries’ cooperation will strengthen their relationship and create new channels for investment, development and knowledge sharing. Abdullah has visited Chile’s ALMA observatory and its energy projects in the Atacama desert, offering the Chilean government five places for students at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s institute in New Delhi.

"We’ll start their course straight away so there is no delay," Dr. Abdullah told Chilean newspaper the Santiago Times. "Chile will start advancing with green energy in the coming year."

This year, Chile has begun taking its first tentative steps towards expanding its renewable energy sector. Its upper house recently passed a revised renewable energy bill that stipulates the country must produce 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.

Although previously the deadline was set for 2020, Chile’s National Energy Commission (CNE) pressed for the five-year extension, revealing that just over 5% of the country’s energy is generated from renewable sources.

For its part, India’s Solar Energy Centre, along with its Alternate Hydro Energy Centre and Centre for Wind Energy, will lend its time and expertise to assess Chile’s resource capabilities.

"India and Chile have one thing in common," stated Dr. Abdullah, "they import the large majority of their energy from the outside."

Bunster also remarked that he recognized the considerable strides taken by India’s renewable energy sector in recent years, expressing his government’s desire to learn from India and set up its own 50 MW solar thermal generating capacity in the north of the country.