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Direct Line: Clean Energy Opportunities in Chile

Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
May 13, 2014


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Topic: Clean Energy Opportunities in Chile

Host: Ambassador Michael A. Hammer

Date, time, time zone for call: Tuesday, May 13, 2014; 2:00 p.m. EDT

Brief Description of Call: The purpose of this Direct Line webinar is to encourage U.S. exporters of clean energy technology and services to consider Chile as a market for their goods and services. Chile is widely viewed as a model for developing economies. Real GDP has grown approximately 5% per year, on average, for the past 20 years and grew 4.1% in 2013. The World Economic Forum ranks Chile #1 in Latin America on its Global Competitiveness Index. The World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” index ranks Chile #1 among Latin American and Caribbean economies. Securing affordable energy is one of the greatest challenges to Chile’s continued economic development. Chile currently has almost 18,700 MW of installed capacity but needs to increase its generating capacity by roughly 7,000 MW by 2020. Several large projects are in development, but many are held up in courts and environmental/public reviews. Chile’s electricity-generation matrix is dominated by fossil-fuels, with diesel, coal and gas composing just under 2/3 of the matrix, and hydro supplying about 1/3 of the matrix, depending on precipitation. Renewable energy, primarily biomass, small hydro, wind and solar, contribute about 6% of the energy in the matrix, but the percentage is growing. Chile has set ambitious renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions targets. The government committed to generating 20% of its energy from renewables by 2025 (excluding hydro projects over 20MW). Chile also set a voluntary target of reducing CO2 emissions by 20% by the year 2020, with 2007 emissions as a reference. Chile’s natural resources offer significant generating potential in hydropower and in the renewable sector: solar, wind, wave, biomass, and geothermal. The U.S. Government actively supports U.S.-Chile cooperation on energy. In October 2011, the United States and Chile launched the U.S.-Chile Energy Business Council, implementing an announcement made during President Obama’s March 2011 visit to Chile. The Council is a forum for U.S. and Chilean companies, in cooperation with their governments, to promote clean energy, energy efficiency, and energy security in Chile and create business opportunities in both countries. The U.S.-Chile Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) has coordinated the process. The U.S.-Chile Energy Business Council is helping promote the third IFT Energy fair, July 22–24, 2014, in Antofagasta, in the heart of Chile’s mining sector. See the fair’s website for more details: Ambassador Hammer will open the webinar with a description of Chile’s investment climate. Following his remarks, Carlos Finat, an expert on Chile’s energy sector, will make a presentation. A Q&A session will follow.

Deadline for RSVPs: Monday, May 12, 2014

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