Press Release

UAI Engineering and WEC-Chile hold debate focused on energy efficiency

Bnamericas Published: Friday, January 13, 2023

This is an automated translation of the original release published in Spanish.

PRESS RELEASE from Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez
January 12, 2023

“A theme that is key to the present and future of our country and the world. This is an area where we still have to close gaps in capacity and knowledge, those who are here, are leading the companies, institutions, among others. But we have to look around: culture, organization, management and processes are necessary so that our institutions can compete, collaborate and generate well-being in our country,” said the dean (I) of the UAI Faculty of Engineering and Sciences (FIC), Renato Cabrera, in the words of welcome in the talk "Opportunities and new tools: energy efficiency in Chile".

The conversation discussed the path of energy efficiency in Chile and the implementation of the new law that will regulate this area. This activity was the second day of the cycle of talks "Desafíos de la Energía- Chile 2023" organized by the Faculty of Engineering and Sciences UAI in conjunction with WEC Chile, an international non-profit organization that has existed for more than 100 years in 90 countries.

María Trinidad Castro, executive director of WEC-Chile, thanked the alliance with the FIC and reflected: “In the energy system we have focused on trying to answer the what, for what and for whom. However, sometimes we forget how we are going to do it, or how we are going to use it, which is why energy efficiency is so important: it is the way we use energy, how we use it more intelligently and efficiently. That is what is going to help us achieve our most desired goals.”

The importance of energy efficiency in Chile

In the discussion, they reflected on how the energy transition in Chile can be achieved, within the framework of the Energy Efficiency Law implemented in 2022. The panel of experts was made up of Matías Coll, executive director of Smartclarity and CEO of Clarity Energy; Mauricio Utreras, partner of Rodaenergía by Abastible and IDB consultant on energy regulation; Valentina Muñoz, specialist in energy efficiency and professional in Energy Efficiency, Standards and Studies of the Superintendence of Electricity and Fuels, and Felipe Larraín, FIC academic, member of CENTRA UAI and PhD in Engineering and computing from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

From an academic point of view on energy efficiency, Felipe Larraín explained that “this is not something that is happening to Chile, rather it is a global trend. It is a complex scenario, but there is optimism and a lot of investment, and the European markets are already showing significant savings in expenses.”

Regarding the regulatory framework on this issue in Chile, Mauricio Utreras indicated that “We have been trying to promote the implementation of this regulation in Chile for 10 years, and if we are critical, we have had a lack of regulatory coherence in matters of climate change. In 2008 we had the first renewable energy law, but only in 2022 we have an Energy Efficiency law. It is a lesson and this law is the basis to continue advancing towards an energy transformation.”

This change has not been easy within the institutions either, since there has also been a change in culture within them, according to Valentina Muñoz. “It has to do with also focusing on the final use of energy. It has been a long job to implement the law, preparing all the protocols, procedures, meetings with the interested parties to be able to push the law and make it work. We want this to work,” Muñoz explained.

Despite the fact that the law is recent, Matías Coll explains that, within Latin America, Chile is well evaluated. “The energy issue in Chile goes beyond political colors, public policies last over time and that is essential. Citizen participation has been very successful and that has made the process successful,” concluded Coll.

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