We are the trade association that represents the power generator companies operating in Chile. Our members are a large and diverse group of companies that together produce more than ninety percent of the country´s electricity. Our partners develop, build and operate power generation projects in all technologies present in Chile.
A more electric Chile, with more efficient, renewable, reliable and sustainable energy.
To inspire and lead the energy transition through the promotion of sound public policies and good practices for the best use and generation of electricity.
In January 2018 an agreement was settled between the Government of Chile and the member companies of the Chilean Association of Power Generators which operate coal fired power plants in Chile (AES Gener, Colbún, Enel and Engie). This agreement established that no new coal plants were going to be developed in Chile, and to establish a roundtable to discuss the phase out of the existing plants. In 2018 coal represented 38,6% of total power generation in Chile
Within the framework of the agreement, in June 2018 the work of the Roundtable on the Phase Out and/or Conversion of Coal Plants coordinated by the Ministry of Energy began, whose objective was to analyze the effects of the withdrawal and/or conversion of coal-fired power generation units, on the safety and economic efficiency of the national electricity system, local economic activity and environmental aspects that may have an impact, in order to establish a timetable for the withdrawal and/or conversion of these units.
Some twenty actors were summoned, among them electric companies and the Chilean Association of Power Generators; the ministries of Energy and Environment, the National Energy Commission, the National Electrical Coordinador (ISO), in addition to environmental NGO´s, representatives of the Worker Unions and academics Enzo Sauma, director of the energy center of the Pontificial Catholic University of Chile and Alejandro Jadresic, former ministry of Energy and Dean of the School of Engineering of the Adolfo Ibañez University. The working table met between June 2018 and January 2019.
You can check more information of the working table on the Ministry of Energy page.
In June 2019, the Chilean government and the country's four largest electric utilities (AES Gener, Colbún, Enel and Engie) reached a voluntary agreement that established a phase-out program for their coal units, which will end no later than 2040.
The withdrawal of the units' operations will be done through a schedule that establishes the cessation of the first 1,047 MW of the eight oldest plants by 2024. These units are in the communes of Iquique (1), Tocopilla (4), Puchuncaví (2) and Coronel (1), and together represent 19% of the total installed capacity of coal-fired plants. In June 2019, the disconnection of Units N°12 and N°13 located in Tocopilla, which have a total capacity of 170 MW, was completed. In December 2019, the 158 MW Tarapacá power plant in Iquique will also be disconnected.
The medium-term stage consists of the commitment to define dates in new working groups formed every five years, which allow for the establishment of specific retirement schedules, giving an account of the economic, social and environmental impacts of this decision. All of the above, with the common ambition between companies and the government for the withdrawal of operations from the total number of coal-fired plants by 2040.
Coal-based electricity generation generates higher levels of global pollutant emissions, representing 26% of Chile's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Chile's president, Sebastián Piñera, said it is going to be a very important contribution because it will allow us to go from emitting 30 million tons of CO2 equivalent to only four million tons by 2040. This plan was developed voluntarily between the public and private sectors and did not generate costs for the state, as has happened in other agreements worldwide. This milestone is an example for other countries that may be interested in learning about the Chilean model. One of the main challenges and opportunities for the country is to implement the replacement of energy that is produced from coal.
You can review more of the process and plan in the INODU, a consultancy, study “Review of Chile’s decarbonization efforts”.
The Chilean Association of Power Generators offers relevant information in the form of publications, studies, bulletins and presentations.
The Electric Market Bulletin on the Generation Sector is a monthly report with information on several market data and the operational results of the generation sector.
The electrical market in Chile, from the energy supply side, is made up of three sectors whose activities make it possible to dispose of electrical energy in the different points of the market. The physical interconnection of the components of each of these sectors is called the electrical system:
These activities are developed entirely by private companies, which make the necessary investments within the specific regulations governing each of these sectors. Thus, the transmission and distribution sectors are developed within a scheme of regulated sectors, due to the monopoly characteristic of both sectors, while Generation does so under rules of free competition.
Every day we witness the consequences that the planet is suffering from global warming, therefore, it becomes a necessity to seek energy generation through clean energy.
Chile is a country with great natural diversity, with a privileged geography to install renewable energy plants, however, the cost of technology was high. In recent years, its costs have decreased considerably and technology has evolved so that companies have opted to invest in this type of energy.
In addition, there have been legal changes that improve the generation market and have established a preferential treatment for renewable energy.
The installed capacity of solar energy in Chile in 2013 was 0.06%, increasing to 9.8% in 2018. According to a study by Chilean Association of Power Generators, by 2030 solar power will reach 30% of total, becoming the country's first source of electrical energy. Media such as the Washington Post have called Chile 'the Saudi Arabia of solar energy'.
Our country must look for ways to diversify its electricity generation matrix due to the phasing out of coal plan being carried out that will close the coal-fired plants that generate around 40% of our country's electricity. In addition, the costs of inv
esting in solar technology have decreased which favors the expansion of this type of technology which is a great opportunity for Chile.
Wind energy is renewable and inexhaustible. As of December 2018, Chile has an installed wind energy capacity of 1,705 MW, a share of 7% in the system. This is an important increase if we consider that in 2013 the installed capacity was only 293 MW, which represented 1.8% of the national power generator park.
Wind energy has as an advantage its sustainable condition: it is renewable, it does not emit greenhouse gases, it can share spaces destined for agriculture and, as they do not damage the soils, its installations are reversible. In the report "El Potencial Eólico, Solar e Hidroeléctrico de Arica a Chiloé" (The Wind, Solar and Hydroelectric Potential from Arica to Chiloé), from the Ministry of Energy, it is estimated that the total wind potential is close to 40,500 MW, in projects with an average plant factor of 0.34. This figure reflects the extensive space available for new wind initiatives in the country.
Historically, our country has had a high presence of zero-emission hydroelectric energy in its electrical matrix. Due to Chile's geographical conditions, the natural conditions for the development of this type of energy that is renewable and clean are presented. At present, around 30% of electricity comes from hydropower, being the number one renewable source of energy, but from run-of-river and dams, which allowed us to have a diverse electric generation matrix.
Although its participation has decreased in recent years, and new projects of greater magnitude are not seen for the moment, it is expected that this technology will play a key role in the flexibility needs of the electrical system in the face of solar and wind variability, enabling the system for a safe incorporation of renewable energies from variable sources through the complementary services that hydroelectric plants can provide.
Countries with high hydroelectric penetration are also countries with low emissions. Norway, where 98% of its electricity generation is hydropower, or New Zealand, where 70% comes from this source, has some of the lowest rates of emissions from its electricity systems.
The potential for geothermal energy is very large, but only a fraction can be used depending on geological conditions. Chile as part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, contains a large geothermal potential estimated at 2,000 MW in the large north and 1,350 MW in the central area. During 2017 the first geothermal plant in South America was inaugurated with a total of 48 MW. The country has about 20% of the active continental volcanoes so it is a type of energy that can be further exploited.
As of September 2019, the National Electric System (SEN) has an installed capacity of generation of 24,856 MW, corresponding to more than 99% of the national installed capacity (medium systems such as Aysén and Magallanes and isolated systems are less than 1%). Of the total installed capacity in the SEN, 47% corresponds to generation technology based on renewable resources (hydroelectric, solar PV, wind, biomass and geothermal). 53% corresponds to natural gas, coal or petroleum products thermoelectric plants.
According to the Project Management Unit (PMU) of the Ministry of Energy, 3,072 MW (35 plants) were under construction at September 2019, of which 96.7% correspond to renewable energies, with the following breakdown of the total under construction: 26.6% of plants.
hydroelectric power plants larger than 20 MW; 37.9% of wind power plants; 31.8% to solar power plants and 0.5% to mini hydro plants.