Energy and Environment Ministers visit solar plant with Chinese Climate Change Minister and highlight Chile’s enormous renewable energy potential

The visit of Chinese minister Xie Zhenhua is part of COP25, the most important climate summit in the world, which will take place in December in Santiago and will be presided by Minister Carolina Schmidt.

Together with Xie Zhenhua, the Climate Change Minister of the People’s Republic of China, Chile’s Energy Minister Juan Carlos Jobet and Environment Minister Carolina Schmidt visited the Quilapún photovoltaic solar plant in Colina, which produces enough electricity for 110,000 homes.

The plant belongs to Atlas Renewable Energy, and has been providing power to Chile’s National Electricity Grid for two years. The US$256 million plant has 355,000 PV panels and 110MW installed capacity, generating 240GWh a year and avoiding the emission of over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

The Chinese minister’s visit is part of COP25, the most important climate summit in the world, which will take place in December in Santiago and will be presided by Minister Carolina Schmidt.

Chinese energy sector investment

Chinese companies have invested over US$2.5 billion in power generation and transmission projects in Chile, the Energy Minister said during the visit, adding that more than 10 Chinese companies have shown their interest in further investments.

“Our renewable energy generation potential is inexhaustible: we can supply the power consumption of all of Latin America. But this requires a lot of capital investment and innovation. Therefore we welcome countries like China that want to help us and drive this sustainable development,” Minister Jobet said.

This year transmission projects worth US$400 million will be tendered and public auctions will be held for the generation of 3,500GWh a year for 16 years from 2025.

“This visit shows us the future that we want and the future that we want to avoid, at the same time. We want the future of clean and renewable energies, of the closure of coal-fired plants, and of carbon neutrality. This way we will avoid the future we don’t want, that of tragedies that are caused by climate change,” the Minister added.

“Climate change is the biggest challenge the world faces today,” Minister Schmidt said. “President Piñera has asked that in Chile we promote deep transformation to fight it. In this, China is our ally in the implementation of concrete action s part of COP25 such as electromobility in public transport, the advance of renewable energies and greater climate ambition on a worldwide scale,” she continued.

“We are thankful for the visit of Minister Xie Zhenhua and we are enthusiastic about the technology transfer that Chile can receive from China, to further the transformation of our country towards sustainable development,” Minister Schmidt added.

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