TECH

Chile Produced So Much Solar Power It Started Giving It Away For Free

Amazing for the population, not so good for Chile's economy.

07/06/2016 11:51
Luis Padilla Silva via Getty Images

Chile has a problem. You see this year alone there have been over 100 instances where in some parts of the country, electricity has cost absolutely nothing.

How? The power of the sun.

The simple fact is that Chile is producing too much green energy, and with no effective way of storing it and an infrastructure that won't allow them to send it elsewhere the energy is simply going to waste.

In a report focusing on Chile's energy crisis, Bloomberg points out that there are a number of key factors at play here.

For starters there's the fact that Chile doesn't have a unified power grid, instead it has two that are completely separate from each other.

So if the northern power grid starts producing excess energy, there's no way for it to send that down to the south of the country and share the wealth. 

Rodrigo Garrido / Reuters

Then there's the economic state of the country. Chile has seen huge growth since its mining industry started to boom, that boom is now beginning to stagnate.

This combined with the chronically low energy prices means very few people are willing to invest anymore into Chile's energy industry.

That's bad news, especially when 15 more solar farms are already in the pipeline for the country.

To try and alleviate the problem the government has already put in place a plan to unify the two power grids.

Once complete in 2017 it should hopefully create a more evenly spread energy network and one that can finally start making some money.

While Chile is struggling to cope with the rise in renewable energy there are already examples where countries have shown that green energy can work.

Germany for example is already tackling its own teething problems and aims to become 100 per cent powered by renewable energy by 2050.

T.w. Van urk via Getty Images

It's an incredible target to set itself and it's actually one that Denmark is already hitting.

While it's not a constant, the Guardian pointed out that in July last year Denmark's wind power was generating 140 per cent of its demand - allowing for the energy to be sent over to Germany, Norway and Sweden.

Denmark isn't the only place on planet Earth that's tackling the energy revolution. Costa Rica spent 75 days last year being powered entirely by renewable energy sources. 

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