Chile produced Large Amount of solar power; it's giving it away for free - Physics-Astronomy.org

Chile produced Large Amount of solar power; it's giving it away for free

Market forces often create strange quirks in the economic system, like the one we're seeing in Chile Present year: the country is producing so much solar power that it's being sold for... nothing at all.
While it's incredibly encouraging to see so much development in the country's renewable energy output, this massive quantity of supply does really cause problems for the companies looking to spend in solar energy.Solar capacity on Chile's central power grid (called SIC or Sistema Interconectado Central) has other than quadrupled over the past 3 years to 770 megawatts – good news for the environment and customers paying their electricity bills.
Currently the challenge is to upgrade the infrastructure to cope with the influx of solar energy.
As Vanessa Dezem and Javiera Quiroga report at Bloomberg, spot prices (set by supply and demand) for electricity have hit zero for 113 days in this Present year up to the end of April. That compares with 192 days in total in 2015.
Increasing energy demands and investment followed by a slowing of economic growth means that regions are being oversupplied with power – 29 solar farms are now online in the country with a further 15 in the pipeline.
It's fantastic to see so much solar energy being produced, but next-to-nothing prices will discourage future investment and mean power plants just aren't profitable, warn experts.
The solution lies in increasing the country's ability to take on further capacity, and there are plans to build a 3,000-kilometre (1,854-mile) transmission line to link the SIC with Chile's northern power network for the 1st time.
Once this is build, it'll mean that, when there is a surplus, it can be re-routed to areas that need it. Basically it's just increasing the demand on the sustainable product by giving more people access to it.
There are also transmission lines within the two grids that need to be upgraded to allow electricity to be more evenly distributed.
Chile produced Large Amount of solar power; it's giving it away for free


Chile is way ahead of other countries in Latin America when it comes to renewable energy capacity – producing more than the rest of the continent combined, according to Bloomberg's figures – which is partly helped by the abundance of sunshine, wind, and water in the country.


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