Electricity Generation and Losses by Source in Chile, 2012
Perhaps most surprising fact is that wood is the second source of electricity in Chile.
Look at the electricity generation mix of Chile in 2012* which uses data from the International Energy Agency. Of the energy consumed in the process of electricity generation, coal accounts for 37% and wood for 24%. Gas accounts for 16%, petroleum products for 12%, hydropower for 11%, and solar energy for only 0.2%.
However, if we look at the electricity generated from these various sources, the situation is different because of the varying energy efficiency of the different fuels and generation technologies.
The biggest change in the composition of the energy generated and the energy source used for generation is seen with hydropower and the burning of wood. Hydropower technology is very efficient and its participation in electricity generation has tripled compared to its participation in energy sources (29% vs. 11%). In the case of wood, the calorie content of the source is very low and the transformation technology is inefficient. Thus, its participation in electricity generation is reduced to less than a third of its stake in the energy used (7% vs 24 %).
The other sources maintain their levels of participation in inputs and generation. Gas is relatively more efficient in terms of calorie content and the efficiency of the generation technology increases its participation marginally (18% vs. 16%). Unlike other countries in the region, the participation in Chile is steady (36% vs. 37%). This is true for both high-calorie imported coal and the more efficient new coal plants. Generation plants that use liquid fuels are relatively inefficient, and the share of electricity generated from these inputs is lower than its participation as an energy source (9% vs 11%). Finally, non-traditional renewable inputs, especially solar energy, albeit at a very low level, increase the share of electricity generated from such primary energy sources (0.6% vs. 0.2%).
For more information about energy in Latin America, visit the IDB Energy Database.