Minister of Energy highlights Chile's marine energy potential

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Susana Jiménez - who headed the anniversary ceremony of the Center for Research and Innovation in Marine Energy (MERIC) - highlighted that Chile has more than 4,000 kilometers of continental coastline, which allows estimating the gross theoretical potential of marine energy in around 240 GW capacity

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The Center for Research and Innovation in Marine Energy (MERIC) commemorated the third anniversary of the start of its research program in Chile, an event that was spearheaded by Energy Minister Susana Jiménez; and in which the vice president of Corfo, Sebastián Sichel, also participated; the executive director of MERIC, Luc Martin, the French ambassador, Roland Dubertrand; the CEO of Naval Energies, Laurent Schneider-Maunoury; and the general manager of EGP Chile, Valter Moro.

"Chile has an important maritime and naval vocation with more than 4,000 kilometers of continental coastline, with estimates that place the gross theoretical potential of marine energy at around 240 GW capacity, which is why the future use of new renewable energy sources, like the navy, is a bet that can open important opportunities at the service of the progress of the country, "explained the Minister Susana Jiménez.

The Secretary of State highlighted that "MERIC collaborates in this way with the development of the guidelines for marine energy projects, being a reference for the industry at a local and global level, through the transfer of competences, knowledge and experiences in technologies of marine energies of its network of collaborators and national and international contacts".

MERIC is working in Chile with the purpose of supporting the Government in the search for sources of clean and renewable energies to complement the energy matrix, including the sustainable development of marine energy. With this motivation, the center has implemented an interdisciplinary research on ecosystems, as well as on the best way to adapt technologies to the particular and extreme conditions of the Chilean sea.

In this context, Luc Martin, executive director of MERIC said that "today we present the work of the MERIC center, a work that seeks to respond to the demands of the new generations and contribute through marine energy to reduce carbon emissions towards 2030. For this reason, in these years in Chile we have dedicated ourselves to preparing the way and studying the impact of future marine energy projects, so that, sooner rather than later, the installation of the first marine energy extraction project becomes a reality for the country".

Minister Jiménez also stressed that the Energy Route 2018-2022 states that "we must accompany the energy transformation towards a sustainable and cleaner matrix, incorporating technological innovation as a key concept to ensure greater and better benefits for citizens. The Ministry of Energy is forming a Prospective and Technological Surveillance Unit, whose purpose will be to raise, generate and dispose of the information appropriate for the sector in terms of innovation and new technologies, and deliver it in a simple and timely manner timely, so as to be the basis for evidence-based decision making. "


MERIC was established in 2015 thanks to a project of CORFO and the Ministry of Energy, being co-founded by Naval Energies and Enel Green Power Chile (EGP).

Currently, MERIC conducts its trials at the Austral University of Chile (Valdivia) and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (Santiago and Las Cruces). However, in parallel their experts participate in international experiences that may be useful for the Chilean case, mainly related to procedures, regulations and public policies on marine energy.

For this reason, the center makes constant technical visits to facilities in Europe and North America, seeking to ensure the proper management of the environmental and social impact of projects on national coasts.

On the other hand, and with the collaboration of EGP Chile, MERIC continues working on the installation of the open sea Open Sea Lab laboratory, which will allow it to act as a real testing platform for future developments related to marine energy in Chile.

This press release from Chile's Ministry of Energy was published using an automatic translation system.