On October 1, 2014, Víctor Osorio, Chile’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced that 200 public land concessions were being made available, through a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Energy, to Non-Conventional Renewable Energy (NCRE) projects.  The goal of the program is to use the public lands concessions to facilitate the growth of NCRE’s, all with a view to achieving Chile’s national policy of having NCREs constitute 20% of total national generation resources by 2020.

It is estimated that from March to late October 2014 the national government will have awarded or authorized 88 new concessions (i.e., 74 more than were issued by the previous government). The new concessions involve 24,868 hectares, which are projected to produce new electric capacity from solar and wind resources equal to more than 3,600 MW.  The investments in such new resources are expected to produce annual revenue for the Chilean treasury of over U.S. $ 9 million.

Regarding the government’s previously announced plans to use the land for housing, Minister Osorio said that NCRE development is not incompatible with a public-private partnership aimed at improving the quality of life.  He also said that that public housing needs are key issues that may be addressed in an upcoming meeting with the Chilean Chamber of Construction.

If you’d like more information on Minister Osorio’s announcement, please feel free to contact me.