First the COP21 climate agreement, then a policy which, in international terms, is increasingly more oriented towards the diversification of energy resources. Even countries like Saudi Arabia – one of the greatest oil producers in the world – are reconverting part of their production to alternative energies.
Chile, one of the countries with the most ambitious objectives in terms of producing from "green" sources, is riding the wave of the COP21 agreement. Bachelet's nation aims to produce 70% of renewable energy by 2050. This ambitious objective could lead to a series of significant sector investments from foreign companies. Chile most certainly favours a "green" policy, thanks also and above all to the Atacama desert, a true resource for photovoltaic plants, and over six thousand kilometres of coasts where several wind farms could be installed (both onshore and offshore). In addition, there are 123 active volcanoes, a further source of geothermal energy. In order to exploit this potential in full adequate infrastructures are required.
Over the past eight years, the country has done a great deal, going from 1 to 11% as regards the production of energy from renewable sources. And it manages to add around 600MW every year, showing a continued interest in investments into the sector also through new public-private partnerships which favour the introduction of new players on the market.
The figures speak for themselves: in 2012 9.2 billion dollars were invested, while in 2014 a series of 12 investment agreements brought 3.4 billion dollars of projects involving mostly solar power to Chile. Leading the way was the Spanish company Abengoa which built Atacama 1, a 1-billion-dollar solar plant generating 110MW of electricity and which will be operational every day, 24/7. And the Abengoa project is just one of those kicked off in the Atacama desert, where the company SunEdison also operates. The last competitions, furthermore, saw the participation of English, Irish, USA and Spanish companies, for 20-year contracts capable of providing Chile with 1200GWh from 2017.
The fact that investments into alternative energies are an opportunity for companies and countries is proven by the recent agreement between Great Britain and India for the development of the "green" and nuclear sector (and support in the traditional fossil energy sector). With Canada aiming to become one of the main energy interlocutors for New Delhi. News of this partnership arrived directly from Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr. "We want to provide solutions for India's whole energy mix", explained the minister who was in India over the past days for talks. A further collaboration in the nuclear sector is also on the table. Over the past years, Ottawa has actually already signed a five-year agreement for supplying New Delhi uranium and now aims to further improve this partnership.
India and Canada are among the 21 "Mission innovation partners" endorsing the 5-year objective of doubling government investments into "green" technologies and technological research into renewable sources.