Chile accelerates the development of geothermal energy

Chile is firmly accelerating the development of geothermal energy, offering the concession of a wide range of areas for its exploitation.

Specifically, Energy Minister Ricardo Raineri announced the results of the proposals that were submitted at a tender for the award of 20 areas for exploration in the regions of Tarapacos and Los Ríos.

A total of 70 bids were submitted by 13 companies from Chile and abroad. This result was seen as positive, given that at a previous tender regarding another 20 areas only 59 bids were submitted from nine companies, and not for every area. This tender, therefore, evidently roused more interest and the bids regarded every area.

The exploitation of geothermal resources is an important element of the new energy policy enacted by Chile to meet the rapidly growing energy demand in a sustainable manner. In October, Raineri had announced more than 170 new concessions for geothermal energy by 2012, and had specified that this effort would be supported financially with investments for over $ 200 million. The ultimate goal of the Chilean Government is to increase the country’s geothermal capacity by more than 1,000 MW.