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The Sunniest Country in The World-Chile

The Sunniest Country in The World-Chile

2018-08-21

Parts of Chile have the most abundant sunlight on the planet. For example, the Atacama desert in the northern part of the country is sunny all year. In addition, high irradiance and low humidity make Chile one of the most suitable regions for solar photovoltaic power generation in the world. Chile has a healthy and stable long-term investment environment, and the demand for electricity is increasing year by year. Chile needs to import and use a lot of fossil fuels all year round, which is not conducive to the protection of the local environment and the global climate, so the local government has launched a decarbonization target. This series of initiatives in Chile led the clean energy revolution in Latin America.


To diversify the energy industry, promote low carbon and improve safety, Chile began to get rid of hydropower and thermal power in the early 20th century. In 2008, the government proposed that by 2010, at least 5% of the electricity generated by energy companies would need to come from unconventional renewable energy sources. According to statistics, until 2012, 7% of the country's electricity came from renewable energy sources. This shows that the development of renewable energy in Chile is booming. Subsequently, the government set a target of 20% of renewable energy by 2025. According to the Chilean Renewable Energy Industry Association (ACERA) data, to date, Chiles wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and river runoff electricity generation accounts for an average of 20% of total electricity generation. Driven by the booming solar industry, renewable energy accounts for up to 45% during certain periods of the year.


Ten years ago, the photovoltaic industry in Chile had just started, and the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) was $100/MWh. Today, the price is as low as $20/MWh, which is equivalent to one-fifth of the price at that time. In the past six months, the LCOE of the cheapest photovoltaic project has reached 23-29 USD/MWh. Moreover, the current solar market in Chile is tied with the Middle East and China. It is predicted that before 2030, the price of the Chilean project will approach US$20/MWh or less. Global solar energy prices are declining, and northern Chile has "the world's most outstanding solar energy resources," which has contributed to a sharp fall in prices. "According to the estimates of the Chilean Ministry of Energy and the German international cooperation company GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), Chile's solar energy potential is 1300GW.


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