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Chile’s Mining Sector to Become Greener via Wind and Solar – Power Auction Winner

Chile’s Mining Sector to Become Greener via Wind and Solar – Power Auction Winner
October 12
12:01 2016

The mining sector in Chile will experience a green shift as miners strive to cut costs by adopting cheaper renewable power, including wind and solar, according to a Reuters’ interview with Bart Doyle, the local chief of Mainstream Renewable Power.

Mainstream Renewable Power, the Dublin headquartered renewable energy provider, was the major winner of the massive government power tender auction in Chile. It was announced in August that the company won 27% of all contracts to supply Chile with power for two decades, starting from 2020.

In fact, the majority of the auction’s winning bids came from renewable energy providers, which were able to offer record-low deals.

This shows a significant step forward for green energy in South America. However, the data for Chile’s mining industry, which uses 30% of the country’s power, are not yet as impressive. For example, renewable energy use within the copper mining sector represents less than 8% of the total power, says Cochilco’s 2015 survey.   

However, all of this is about to change, according to Mainstream’s Doyle, as miners realize that alternative power is cheaper and issues involving financing and reliability are no longer such a big concern.

“When solar was offering you daytime power at $90 (per megawatt hour) and the incumbents were offering you 24-hour power at $90, that was a no-brainer. You take the incumbents. But when solar is offering you $30, all of the sudden things look a lot more interesting,” Reuters quotes Doyle as saying.

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Andrew Slavin

Andrew Slavin

I am one of the directors of Energy and Mines and am also the curator of this site. I have been involved with B2B communications for the last 18 years including publications, conferences, think tanks and reports.

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