This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 11/27/2019
Chile’s electricity sector, which includes generation, transmission, and distribution, is privately owned and operated by both foreign and local companies.  As of December 2018, total installed capacity was 23,315 Mw, with 3,487 Mw under construction and 76,175 GWh of gross energy generation.  The marginal cost of energy for the period was between 63.6 and 52.9 USD/MWh.

The general consensus is that, on average, electricity demand for the next two years will grow at approximately 2.5% per year.  Chile’s National Energy Comission (CNE) projects an expected demand for energy from regulated consumers to total 36.148 GWh by 2025. On the other hand, and according to CNE  by 2026, energy supply needs are expected to be 5.600 GWh.  This will give rise to a new bidding process expected to be awarded in 2020. The average projected power demand is approximately 500 Mw/year. 
 2016201720182019 estimated
Total Local Production1,2631,4881,3781,455
Total Exports150175153168
Total Imports60574850
Imports from the US1,1731,3701,2731,337
Total Market Size186100105110
Exchange Rates: 1 USD680649641676
Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)
Data Sources: Chilean Customs Data used for the selected sample of HTS codes, industry experts and own elaboration
A landmark project allowed for the interconnection of the Northern and Central Grids, thus integrating electricity distribution for the vast majority of Chile’s population.  The transmission lines cover a distance of 753 kilometers with double circuit 500 kV lines.  The new grid name is SEN Norte (National Grid Northern part) and SEN Sur (National Grid Southern part).

In 2018, Chile had 5,082 Mw of Non Conventional Renewable Energy power coming from sources such as solar, wind, mini run-of-river, biomass and geothermal plants.  This represented a 21.7% share of total installed capacity. 

The development of renewable energy is a high priority for Chile.  The share of non-hydro renewable power is expected to exceed 50% of the power mix by 2030, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.  Also with the growth of renewable energy sources in the future, the gas-based power capacity in the country will increase from 48% of the thermal power capacity in 2018 to 55% by 2030. 

Therefore, projects in small hydropower, biomass, biogas, wind, and solar energy have received increased government and private-sector support.  U.S. firms have done particularly well in the area of PV/solar energy, with significant investments in Northern Chile’s Atacama Desert, which has among the best profiles for solar energy on Earth.

Law 20.698, also known as Law 20/25, Chile’s Non-Conventional Renewable Energy Law requires that companies with more than 200 MW of installed capacity generate 20% of electricity from renewable sources by 2025.  Additionally, Law 20.571 promotes power generation by residential owners with installed capacity of up to 100 Kilowatts.  Based on a review of import statistics and current conditions, the Chilean market for U.S. equipment sold in the energy sector is expected to increase in 2019 with respect to 2018, particularly in the transmission and power generation sectors.

Leading Sub-Sectors
Hydro-generation plants
< 20 MW (Those under 9 MW have become increasingly attractive)
20 MW - 70 MW
Thermal-generation plants in the range of 100 MW - 300 MW
Combined-cycle gas fired plants and support systems
Dual gas/diesel fired plants
Geothermal exploration services and plants
Wind generation plants: >0.3 MW - 10 MW, horizontal, variable speed, pitch reg., >50 mt. mast turbine
Solar panels for both electricity generation and water heating
Solar PV panels and CSP systems. For the mining sector, turn-key projects are the norm.
NOx, particle and CO2 abatement equipment
Scrubbers, fumes treatment technology and equipment.

High efficiency transmission equipment and supplies, aimed to transfer electric energy >1,000 miles
Environmental solution services
Electric control instruments
Smart meters
High efficiency transformers
Signal conditioners

During 2018, 110 energy projects obtained a favorable Environmental Qualification Resolution (RCA).  Of these 110 projects, 66 projects were in power generation, 24 projects were in high power transmission, and 20 projects were in oil and gas mining development. Together they total an investment of USD 6.380 Million.

EXPO ENERGÍA 2020 - This EXPO exhibits products and solutions oriented to the Mining, Energy and General Industry sectors, as well as presentations from specialists in the energy sector. The EXPO brings together generation, transmission, distribution and NCRE, as well as the sustainable production companies and those who provide services to the industry. The Energy Expo 2020 will be held in August 4 at the Plaza El Bosque Hotel, Nueva Las Condes, located at Manquehue Norte 656, Las Condes, Santiago.  The event is sponsored by Empresas Eléctricas, an electricity sector association, as well as Acera--Chile’s Non Conventional Renewable Energy association

Web Resources
Chilean Energy Council  
National grid administrators CEN (Coordinador Eléctrico Nacional)
Electric Industry Magazine
Aduanas Chile
Chilean Ministry of Energy

For additional information, contact Marcelo Orellana

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Chile Energy Trade Development and Promotion