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Chile Uses Geological Advantage To Push Renewable Energy

By Brian Spaen

Chile features one of the fastest-growing renewable energy sectors in the world.  As of 2014, nine percent of the country is fueled by sustainable sources and they could reach 20 percent by 2020. Thanks to great resources available in the area, this transition will only continue at a rapid pace.

Why does Chile have the ability to push renewable energy? One reason is the vast amount of volcanoes in the area. They have 15 percent of the world’s craters and with geothermal technology, that could potentially generate 16,000 megawatts of energy. The Cerro Pabellon geothermal plant, with a capacity of 48 megawatts, turned on back in March. It’s the first plant of its kind in South America and can fuel around 165,000 homes.

Another reason that can make it skyrocket is the extreme levels of solar radiation. Northern Chile receives the largest amount of sunlight in the entire world. Now that technology continues to get cheaper, utility companies were able to gobble up the area “to supply electricity at about half the cost of coal-fired plants,” according to The Washington Post.