Path to 100% Renewables Chile

Path to 100% Renewables – Chile



Published 05 Aug 2019
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Published 05 Aug 2019



Path to 100% Renewables – Chile

Chile, like many other countries across the world, is putting CO2 targets in place to reduce national emissions. The country has shown an urgency and commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by setting strong targets e.g. joining the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.

On June 4th 2019, President Piñera presented a schedule for the first stage of Coal Plant retirements from the Chilean power system. This schedule is the result of an agreement between power plant owners and the Ministry of Energy. The first stage ensures the retirement of 8 coal plants by 2025, totalling 1047 MW. These coal plants are the oldest and, therefore, produce higher amounts of CO2. The next stage and target set by President Pinera is the total retirement of coal generation by the year 2040. The retirement schedule for the remaining coal plants (20) will be decided in the future taking into consideration the rate at which renewable generation is added to the power system. The President aims to negotiate and develop a detailed coal retirement plan every 5 years targeting the overall goal, which was announced as well, to reach CO2 neutrality by the year 2050.

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the discussion in Chile. Instead of presenting one solution, this study presents several scenarios and compares the results – share of renewables, CO2 emissions and total national electricity generation costs. This paper is not suggesting that any scenario should have priority over the others, instead the intention is to provide solid ground for understanding the impacts of certain decisions and weather conditions (mainly hydro generation) on the cost of power, and emissions. The study also evaluates transmission expansion costs for each of the scenarios by using the cost estimation method from CEN’s decarbonization study.


Path to 100% Renewables Chile


  1. Executive Summary
  2. Introduction to the Situation in Chile
  3. Objectives and Approach for This Study
  4. Main Objective
  5. The Model
  6. Model Inputs
  7. Summary of Scenarios
  8. Scenario Results
  9. Base Case
  10. Scenario 1
  11. Scenario 1a
  12. Scenario 1b
  13. Scenario 1c
  14. Scenario 1d
  15. Scenario 2 Phasing out coal by 2030
  16. Scenario Summary
  17. Dimensioning of Flexible generation
  18. Path to 100% renewables
  19. Comparison of flexibility options
  20. Conclusions
  21. Appendix 1

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