Mining experts’ perspectives on the determinants of solar technologies adoption in the Chilean mining industry

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Abstract

The energy demand in Chile arises mostly from mining, its largest industry that accounts for about 35% of total electricity consumption. Energy generation to satisfy this demand depends completely on imported fossil fuels. As a result, the mining industry faces several energy related challenges. In particular, the cost and environmental impact of fuel sources are threatening the competitiveness of the industry and urge for new developments. In that regard, the importance of using clean and cost-competitive renewable energy sources has increased significantly in Chile and several government policies helped to increase the investment in them. The impact has been particularly large in the development of solar energy in the northern part of the country, where almost all mines are located. In fact, the country has become one of the largest solar markets in Latin America thanks to its abundant solar resources, favorable market conditions, and successful policy reforms. Solar energy then, could play a significant role as an alternative to satisfy the mining industry's energy demand offering a broad range of technological solutions. This study examines the key issues -barriers and drivers- influencing the adoption of solar technologies in the Chilean mining industry from the perspective of mining actors. As a result of the analysis the paper also provides a scope for appropriate policy interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-202
Number of pages9
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Volume95
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chile
  • Energy challenges
  • Mining industry
  • Solar energy

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