January 8 (Renewables Now) – Solar photovoltaic (PV) power will reach a 9.4% share in Chile’s power mix in 2019, replacing natural gas as the third most important source of electricity in the country, Chilean nonprofit energy watchdog Coordinador Electrico Nacional (CEN) has estimated.
CEN has based its models on dry hydrology as the most likely scenario according to climate forecasts.
Coal will still sit on the throne with a 40.4% share in Chile’s power mix in 2019, followed by hydropower with a share of 30.2%, CEN's models project, according to an article by Chilean daily La Tercera.
In 2018, natural gas had a share of 14.8%, more than double solar energy’s 7%. For this year, CEN forecasts that solar will increase to 9.4% with an output of 7,345 GWh boosted by 55 new PV plants that are set to begin operating. The share of gas is expected to plunge to 8.6% making way for the non-hydro renewable energy source to enter the top three for the first time.
Wind energy has also been on the rise since 2016 when its share was 3.2% with an output of 2,275 GWh. In 2018, its contribution increased to 4.9% with 3,784 GWh produced, from 4.8% and 3,552 GWh a year earlier.
CEN expects that wind energy will increase its share to 6.3% in 2019 as 14 new parks begin operations bringing in fresh 813.8 MW to the system.