Chile backs renewables auctions
Legislation for annual green power tenders passes crucial Senate hurdle
Chile has moved a step closer to implementing renewable energy auctions after the country’s Senate approved legislation outlining fundamental market reforms.
The new regulations allow for the Ministry of Energy to hold annual tenders for “blocks” of power to be supplied from “unconventional” renewables such as wind, mini-hydro, biomass and solar.
Up to two auctions may be undertaken each year if the amount of capacity is not contracted in one competition, or if an auction is cancelled due to lack of demand.
The ministry will seek technical input from a commission of experts to advise on the appropriate amount of capacity to tender before releasing detailed auction documents. Further regulation will set out participation requirements, criteria for judging bids and the allocation procedure.
The legislation also sets a new renewable energy target of 20% by 2025, an increase on the previous goal of 10%. Chile’s renewables industry and some senators had been pushing for 20% by 2020.
Energy minister Jorge Bunster (pictured, centre left) said the agreement reached in the Senate “reflects the determination of government and parliament to support renewables in Chile”.
He added: “Today renewables account for 5% (of the mix) and this law will support competitive development of the country’s potential.”
Image: Energy minister Jorge Bunster with senators (Chilean Ministry of Energy)