Presidential support escalates wind boom in Chile

Windpower Monthly

When Michelle Bachelet took office as president of Chile in 2014 she promised to place energy at the top of Chile's political agenda and to prise open a space for renewables.

The formerly sleepy pace of development in Chile's wind power market seems to have led to few people noticing what actually happened there last year. In the first nine months alone, Chile installed 382MW of wind capacity, tripling 2013's 130MW of new build, according to the state-run Renewable Energy Centre (CER). That brought the country's total wind power capacity to 737MW, more than double the 335MW cumulative figure at the end of 2013.

"We knew the take-off would come, and now it's finally happening," says Ramon Fiestas, chairman of the Global Wind Energy Association's (GWEC) Latin-American committee. Now GWEC and Chile's renewables trade body, Asociacion Chilena de Energias Renovables (Acera) expect a steady 300-400MW of new annual capacity to 2025.

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