June 7, 2016: The chief solar power plants of Chile are supplying tremendous amount of excess electricity which has led Chile to give away electricity for free or face costs going down. The excess has been driven by the nation’s prospering copper industry.
The nation’s rising energy demand has impelled the expansion of 29 solar farms to supply the central grid. The main drivers have been roaring mining production and economic expansion. Chile is likely to install approximately 1.4 gigawatts of solar power in 201, up from 371 megawatts in 2015 which is sufficient to supply a whole lot of residences.
According to the central grid operator of Chile, ironically, spot costs reached zero in parts of the nation on 113 days by April 2016, a number much higher than total of 192 days in 201.according to Chile’s central grid operator.
Chile gives away excess solar electricity for free
While consumers might value cheaper electricity, for energy firms struggling to make incomes and cover the power plant maintenance cost, the reduction in costs isn’t good news at all. The nation has two chief power hubs that include the central and northern grids; however the two are not linked to each other, which clarify the striking phenomenon.
Carlos Baria, the former chief of the government’s renewable-energy division said that an area in which a grid is situated can overproduce electricity, compelling prices to drop, since the excess cannot be transmitted to other regions of the nation.
All the more solar power plants have been built in the center of the nation’s mining industry in the north, however since copper output slows in the middle of a universal excess, economic development declines too, indicating that power plants saturate regions that lack the capability to allocate the electricity somewhere else.