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2 de agosto de 2019

Chilean innovation projects could avoid the emission of 64 million tons of greenhouse gases by 2030

  • Five Chilean energy projects took part in a global effort to quantify avoided emissions.
  • Dennis Pamlin, Avoided Emissions Leader for Mission Innovation, highlighted Chilean innovations and their potential contribution to the fight against climate change.

64 million tons of greenhouse gases could be prevented from being emitted by 2030 thanks to five Chilean energy initiatives that use solar energy in their processes. This surpasses what a country like Sweden quantifies each year and  was highlighted at the meeting “Time to Innovate: the Road to COP25,” organized by the Solar and Energy Innovation Committee of Chile’s Economic Development Agency (CORFO), with the support of the Ministry of Energy, RISE Sweden , Mission Innovation, and Start Up Chile.

Dennis Pamlin, Avoided Emissions Leader for Mission Innovation, explained that innovation plays a significant role as a tool to fight climate change. “Early this year, we held a Mission Innovation meeting in Santiago where we were able to meet many entrepreneurs who were excited about their innovations. Hence, it was important to determine the global potential of these initiatives,” he said.

This is how a joint effort between international organizations and local representatives came to be, to include some Chilean innovations into the Framework for Assessing Avoided Emissions. Five Chilean projects applied the framework’s methodology and their results were outstanding. “The numbers showed that avoided emissions could reach 64 million CO2eq tons by 2030, which is impressive. I come from Sweden, where avoided emissions only add up to 50 million a year, for example. Basically, these five entrepreneurs could save as much as an entire country during a certain timeframe,” said Dennis Pamlin.

The aim of highlighting Chilean projects is to allow more entrepreneurs to quantify their avoided emissions. “We know that 78% of greenhouse gases produced in Chile come from the energy sector, which is why we work hard to support innovation that accelerates the country’s energy transition,” said Max Correa, Executive Director of CORFO’s Solar and Energy Innovation Committee.

The projects

Luz del Norte is a 140 MW photovoltaic plant located in the municipality of Copiapó, Atacama Region. It is the first of its kind that is able to provide ancillary services to the Chilean electricity system. This is why it was highlighted by Mission Innovation. “Ancillary services are additional functionalities of power plants that allow the electrical system to be operated in a safe, reliable, and stable manner for consumers,” says Gabriel Ortiz, First Solar Asset Manager, who also points out that until now, these services could only be provided by thermal power plants. “We have proven that photovoltaic plants can also provide these services,” he said.

The second project is a small-scale concentrated solar power plant, which seeks to reduce costs compared to a traditional plant (Cerro Dominador is the only large-scale one in Latin America). “It generates a thermal cycle with storage that enables the operation of heat processes even at night, thus making it possible to produce energy 24/7,” said Andres Bosch, who runs the pilot plant located in Quilicura (Metropolitan Region).

Phineal was able to include two of its initiatives in the avoided emissions assessment. Sello Sol is a certification that offers traceability of the solar energy used in products and services, guaranteeing the source of the energy received with blockchain technology. These entrepreneurs’ second initiative seeks to produce hydrogen via electrolysis supplied by a photovoltaic solar plant.

The fifth Chilean innovation is the large-scale solar collector for generating heat in mining processes developed by Aiguasol. It allows diesel to be replaced in certain mining processes, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The road to COP25

The Paris Agreement set the goal to limit the global temperature rise to well below 2 °C, which will be achieved if the increase in greenhouse gas emissions is stopped. Countries have recognized they need to make major efforts to comply.

Therefore, these five Chilean initiatives are a sample of the potential of innovation projects to fight climate change. It is expected for a larger portfolio of initiatives to be presented at the COP25 next December.

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