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Chile's state-owned oil company, Empresa Nacional de Petroleo (ENAP), is the
main energy supplier, filling more than 40% of Chile's national energy demand.
Chilean crude oil reserves in 2000 were estimated at between 100million and
200million barrels.
Chile's oil demand has nearly doubled over the past decade, while crude oil
production has declined by half, leading Chile to increase its imports of oil
Presently, Chile's main sources of imported oil are Nigeria, Gabon, and
Venezuela, but other sources are possible.

Chile produces only a relatively small amount of natural gas.
New electricity generating capacity is beginning to come online that utilizes
natural gas as fuel. Also, many industries in Chile now have access to natural
gas, and there is a program to connect residential users in the larger cities to the
gas transmission system as well.
All this has resulted in Chile becoming a natural gas importer.
Argentina currently is Chile's exclusive source of gas imports.

Coal production in Chile is mostly handled by Empresa Nacional del Carbn
(ENACAR), which was privatized in 1985.
Coal production has greatly declined over the past decade; the country's largest
coal mine was closed in 1997.
Much of the coal that is consumed in Chile is now imported, mostly from
Coal in Chile is primarily consumed in the electricity generating sector (72%) and
for inputs to coke ovens in the steel sector (14%). The remainder is burned
directly by industry, with the cement, food products and iron and steel sectors
being the largest consumers.

Hydroelectric power plants presently represent about 40% of the installed
generating capacity of Chile, and, in 2000, provided about half of Chile's
electricity. The amount of electricity generation from year to year has been
extremely variable due to climate conditions in the country.

Over the past decade, Chile has privatized 100% of its electricity industry and
unbundled the national generation, transmission, and distribution systems.
Electricity Transmission
Power generation in Chile is organized around four grid systems:
1) Sistema Interconectado del Norte Grande (SING), the northern grid, which accounts for about
19% of national generation;
2) the Central Interconnected System (SIC), the central region's grid, which accounts for 68.5% of
national generation and serves 93% of Chile's population;
3) the Aysn Grid in southern Chile (0.3% of total generation); and
4) the Magallanes Grid, also in southern Chile (0.8% of total generation).

Total installed electricity capacity
(2010): 15.94 GW
Thermo-electricity: 64,9%
Hydro-electricity: 34%
Other renewables: 1-4%

Renewable energy is currently mostly used for rural electrification or other
small-scale power generation. Chile has nevertheless huge solar, wind and
geothermal potential.
Solar energy
The Atacama Desert gets up to 9.28 kilowatt-hours of sun daily per square
meter, among the worlds highest.
Wind energy
Wind power has been used mostly for rural electrification purposes. It is
estimated that 25 GW could be generated from wind energy. But wind energy's
largest potential is in the South of Chile, in the remote area of Patagonia: the
distance to the central SIC energy grid makes a large wind farm in Patagonia
unprofitable as local demand is still low. In other parts of Chile, several large
scale wind parks are under construction.

Geothermal energy
Chile also has 10% of the worlds active volcanoes, highlighting an abundant
potential for geothermal Energy with the potential to generate 16 GW.
Since 2000, special legislation and subsidies promote the development of
geothermal energy, which has been officially designated the countrys
strategic priority.
Biomass energy
Biomass accounts for around half of Chiles installed renewable energy
production. Power generated from biomass projects in Chile are currently
added directly to the grid, mainly through electrical co-generation plants that
use industrial waste from the pulp and paper industry. Biomass is commonly
used for cooking.


Chiles dependence on imported energy had been increasing for the last 30
In 1980, approximately 58% of energy was supplied by indigenous production
and 42% from net imports.
However in 2005, this proportion has reversed, with 71% from imports and the
remainder from indigenous production.



Electricity market
Chile was the first country in the world to implement a comprehensive
reform of its electricity sector in 1982.
The electricity industry is now fully privatized.
Privatisation included open access to the wholesale electricity market.
But although the wholesale market is theoretically open, it is relatively
small and large companies constitute a virtual monopoly.




Reegle. Energy Profile Chile.
Fossil Energy International. An Energy Overview of Chile.
U.S. Energy Information Administration. Chile.