EUR 100 million for the first concentrated solar power station (CSP) in South America.

Within the scope of the "Programme to promote solar energy in Chile", KfW Development Bank, together with the Republic of Chile and the Chilean development bank CORFO, has signed an FC development loan in the amount of EUR 100 million. The programme is part of the German Climate Technology Initiative (DKTI) and is financed with funds provided by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

At the same time, the EU Commission provides an investment grant of EUR 15 million with funds from the Latin America Investment Facility.

As part of the programme, the construction of Latin America’s first CSP plant (110 MW) for generating electricity on a commercial scale is being promoted.

"The construction of the first CSP plant in Chile is an important step on the way towards Chile’s energy turnaround, which should also make a significant contribution towards introducing this innovative technology in Chile and the surrounding region. Promoting the expansion of solar energy in Chile should help the country achieve an independent and sustainable energy supply, as well as to global climate protection", stated Dr Norbert Kloppenburg, Member of the Executive Board of KfW Group.

Chile is facing the great challenge of meeting the steady increase in its demand for electricity in the course of its economic growth. The country has no noticeable fossil fuel deposits and is therefore very dependent on energy imports from abroad (more than 60% of the primary energy requirements), despite its considerable hydropower. This has led to significant supply shortages and price surges in the electricity sector. To avoid this and set up its energy supply in an environmentally and climate friendly manner, the country is now focusing on the significant expansion of renewable energies.

It was determined in the energy agenda adopted by the Chilean government in May 2014 that renewable energies have to make 45% of the country’s newly installed capacity between 2014 and 2025.

The rapidly growing mining industry in Northern Chile is the driver of the Chilean economy. It consumes approx. 80% of electricity currently available, which is produced largely using coal, oil and gas. At the same time, solar radiation conditions in the Atacama desert are optimal for using CSP technology.

The innovative facilities concentrate the sun’s rays using mirrors. A suitable heat transfer medium is heated up and channelled via pipelines into a thermal store or directly into a steam power plant. A steam turbine is driven in the latter, which then generates electricity through a generator.