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Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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Geothermal Energy Plant In Chile Can Be A Pioneer To South American Countries


The success of Chile’s first geothermal plant will be deciding factor for propagating this renewable energy sources in other South American countries.

Dailycsr.com – 26 August 2015 – Chile takes initiative to build the first “geothermal plant” of South America. As a nation, Chile is situated amid volcanoes and natural geysers, whereby it will pave a new way for renewable energy consumption.
The state oil company’s general manager, Marcelo Tokman, informed that only recently did the geothermal project, “Cerro Pabellón”, took “concrete shape”. Moreover, he also adds that this project is:

“…immensely important for the Chilean state, which started geothermal exploration and drilling over 40 years ago”.
Th eproject will be executed in the “region of Antofagasta” high up on the Andes, whereby he adds:
“(Cerro Pabellón) will not only be the first geothermal plant in Chile and South America, but will also be the first in the world to be built at 4,500 metres above sea level”.
The plant will have “two units” each of “24 MW” whereby the total generation capacity of the plant will come to “48 MW” during its initial phase. Moreover, the plant will be able to “generate electricity around-the-clock”. Consequently, estimated annual generation capacity of the plant will be equivalent “to a 200-MW solar or wind power plant”. One of the units will begin its operation in the first four months of 2017.
According to Tokman, in its full operational capacity, the plant will generate 340 megawatts of electricity per hour. Within a year’s time the plant will begin to feed into the national power grid system whereby satisfying the energy requirement in “154,000 households”. Likewise, the plant will annually save more than “155,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions” as it will cut down the consumption of fossil fuel.
Furthermore, the IPS reports that:
“Sixty million dollars were invested in the exploratory phase, and an estimated 320 million dollars more will go into the plant and the construction of a 73-km power line”.
However, geothermal energy can be produced by “tapping underground reservoirs of heat”, therefore, geysers and volcanoes prove ideal. Moreover, if a geothermal plant can be managed well, it can indefinitely “produce clean energy”. There are six South American countries situated on the rim of Pacific Ring of Fire which results in “seismic activity” even in virgin territories that can be used to generate geothermal energy. These six countries are:
“Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.”
According to studies, the land of Chile is potentially rich for geothermal projects, as it houses the “largest volcanic chain” on the earth. In the director of “Latin American Observatory on Environmental Conflicts ”, Lucio Cuenca’s words:

“Geothermal is an unconventional renewable energy source to the extent that it is carried out in accordance with territorial and cultural needs. The energy source in and of itself does not guarantee social and environmental sustainability”.
Nevertheless, the inhabitant communities around Cerro Pabellón plant are still hesitant to accept it with full heart, as they feel it to be intruding into their life, which the modern civilization do not value. Consequently, they report that

“Sometimes we feel a bit neglected and isolated.

“But it has to come with respect for our traditions, and it is our elders who are demanding that most strongly”.