Enel Chile says goodbye to coal
This past May 27th, the board of directors of Enel Generación Chile announced its decision to push up the closure of two units in the Bocamina thermal power complex, located in Coronel and the company's last coal-powered plant in Chile.
The final decommissioning and disconnection of Bocamina is now planned to occur by December 31, 2020, at the latest, originally scheduled for the last part of 2023. In the case of Bocamina II, it will be closed by May 31, 2022 at the latest, while the original plan considered closure by the year 2040.
To carry out this measure, the company will submit a formal request to the executive secretary of the National Energy Commission (CNE) to authorize final decommissioning, disconnection, and termination of the operations of Bocamina I (128 MW) by December 31, 2020 at the latest, and Bocamina II (350 MW) by May 31, 2022.
This decision implies a substantial modification in the closure dates committed by the company in the National Decarbonization Plan signed with the Ministry of Energy on June 4, 2019, and confirms the leadership of the Enel Group in Chile by accelerating its commitments to address the effects of climate change, while also advancing in its plan to add 2GW in renewable energies by 2022.
The energy transition is the industry's response in the push towards a carbon-neutral sustainable economy, through the use of renewable energies that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as energy efficiency measures that address the main global trends like urbanization, an increase in demand and the electrification of energy consumption.
In this context, we believe we have an undeniable role in the energy transition. Our commitment to this role has been reflected in the last five years through our positioning as the main operator of renewable energy sources in Chile. Currently, we contribute 43% of renewable energy to the national energy matrix, with 1.2GW installed capacity in wind power, solar power and geothermal power, and we will increase this capacity by an additional 2GW by 2022.
The Enel Group has established a global strategy aimed at decarbonizing its overall generation by the year 2050, committing to a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions by kWh generated with respect to the 2017 baseline, according to the latest version of Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) in April 2019. At the same time, the Enel Group committed to reducing its indirect emissions by 16% by the year 2030, with respect to 2017.
Development of renewables
As part of our strategy to move towards a cleaner energy matrix, Enel Chile is making progress in the development of the projects included in its Industrial Plan. These initiatives are aimed at adding a total of 2 GW in renewable installed capacity by 2022, and half of these are already under construction. Some of the projects under development include Azabache (60.9MW), the first hybrid industrial plant in the country; Campos del Sol (382MW), one of the largest solar projects under construction in Chile, and a 33 MW expansion of Cerro Pabellon (48MW), the only geothermal power plant in operation in South America.
How can we give our planet a break?
We believe that the energy transition is not just an industrial issue. While it is crucial to carry out a sustainable business model for all industries, it is also important to generate the conditions so that society as a whole can follow suit. For this reason, our social investment is largely dedicated to helping communities along the path towards a more sustainable lifestyle and infrastructure. This roadmap includes several initiatives.
Quillota Respira fights climate change with the largest tree planting project in Chile. This project considers the planting of a total of over 100,000 trees, in a participatory strategy that includes environmental education opportunities, placing people at the center of climate action. The project helps mitigate the impact of global warming on the urban microclimate.
Quintero Mide is a project aimed at strengthening the technical, economic and administrative skills of social leaders and residents, in order to co-design a community system to monitor the environment in one of the most polluted bays in the country.
Further south, the Water Management Program is being developed in the Maule River Basin. This project is aimed at generating technologies and capacities to optimize water use, in order to reduce the impact of the water deficit, both in agricultural activities and in hydropower generation.
These are just some of the programs and projects being carried out by Enel Chile in different regions of the country, aimed at reducing the effects of climate change, in line with Sustainable Development Goal 13 related to Climate Action, promoted by the United Nations and signed by our Company.
World on alert
An increasing population, economic growth and climate change have placed heavy pressure on the planet's resources, and the effects of this situation are seen primarily in global warming, a decrease in rainfall and, at the same time, extreme climate events such as droughts and flooding.
Given this situation and according to information reported by the Ministry of the Environment and international studies, Chile is one of the countries that is most vulnerable to climate change.
Within this context, climate change is now one of the major challenges faced by society as a whole, as its impact can potentially worsen some of the country's social problems like inequality.
Enel Chile as a proactive leader in the country address climate change in its business strategy, with a strategic plan focused on the decarbonization of its energy matrix, along with specific policies to guide the company's operations, particularly the environmental and biodiversity policy. The Company also has an integrated environmental management system through the Group's commitments with international organizations, with which it collaborates to achieve environmental sustainability in everything we do.
During recent years, the climate crisis has severely affected Chile, exacerbating a drought that has compromised the performance of hydraulic plants, reducing its generation contribution by 7% during 2019 and resulting in an increase is CO2 emissions by kWh generated. This contingency is being addressed by accelerating the development of new wind power, solar power and geothermal plants. Simultaneously, in terms of water resource management, Enel Chile is carrying out programs aimed at preserving the basins and their ecosystems, while improving the efficiency of its thermal energy plants in order to optimize the use of water.
Circular Economy: the solution to Climate Change
Enel Chile has taken on the challenge of incorporating Circular Economy throughout its value chain and in all lines of business through innovation, in order to separate economic development from the exploitation of natural resources.
Protection of the environment and natural resources is a strategic factor in the planning, development and operation of the activities of Enel Chile and its subsidiaries.
We work day in and day out, with passion and concrete actions, to care for our planet according to our purpose “Open Power for a brighter future.”
At the following link, you can find more information on each of the company's actions related to Climate Change.