Highlights in 2018
Highlights in 2018


Mission Innovation impact case study

In 2019 Chile is going to launch an international call for an Institute for clean energy research, where national and international collaboration is expected in order to develop new solutions with high value for the Chilean energy and mining industry. In this case, MI will be a platform to promote the initiative and to engage leading organizations from MI members. Moreover, as Chile is part of the group IC5 “Converting Sunlight”, all the related experience shared in the group were considered.

Even though the call was designed according to national energy and mining priorities, the discussions and innovation focus of the MI members provided key insight to identify the research focuses and to promote public-private engagement and fostering international cooperation.

The impact of the Institute for Clean Energies is expected as follows: development of new materials and innovations that add value to lithium, salts and other materials in the supply chain of electromobility and green growth; the development of photovoltaic and solar concentration energy technologies adapted to extreme desert conditions at competitive costs; the development of a set of technologies for the mining industry in order to produce zero emissions fuels as a competitive energy.

Update on clean energy innovation policies and strategies

In 2017 the Chilean Ministry of Energy launched a short-term Energy Roadmap, a strategy for the period 2018-2022 which includes the modernization of the sector and a de-carbonization process together with the increase of the energy efficiency and the improve of renewable generation.

The Energy Roadmap was made on the basis of the changes in this sector. It recognises that scientific and technological progress will not come about on its own. It is necessary to keep up with the times and put in the effort needed to get on board with the modernizing trend, clearing and preparing the road ahead to take advantage of the new opportunities and solutions linked to technological development and innovation, such as the new sources of electricity generation, distributed generation and storage alternatives, electro mobility, electricity demand side management, and a number of options that will be available to contribute to Chile’s economic and social progress.

The strategy is to continue with the most relevant energy innovations programs, such as the development of a new photovoltaic solar panel specially designed for desert conditions and fostering new innovation opportunities oriented to explore new opportunities, as the hydrogen as an energy carrier.

Major innovation initiatives in 2018/19

One of the key Chilean innovation initiatives is the development of a new photovoltaic system so-called AtaMoS-TeC (Atacama Module and System Technology Center). The AtaMoS-TeC brings together the government and in partnership national and international companies and technology centres, a portfolio of research, development and innovation projects, to adapt a new photovoltaic system designed specifically for desert conditions, covering a gap between the knowledge of its own features for solar power generation and the needs of the Chilean Desert. The goal of AtaMoS-Tec is to adapt and develop new materials, components and operation and maintenance services for photovoltaic systems, ensuring their durability and performance under desert climate conditions.

Another initiative is a public-private Technology Development Program. It started by 2018 to take advantage of the opportunity for using hydrogen as an energy vector, produced by clean sources as wind and solar power. Two international consortiums are undertaking research focused on the development of new low emissions mining extraction trucks powered by mixing hydrogen and diesel; and by powering others mining vehicles incorporating fuel cells to strongly decrease the Diesel consumption. The two consortiums include national and international universities and companies experienced on hydrogen applications.

Major activities in support of the Innovation Challenges in 2018/19

The Chilean Ministry of Energy will announce an open call for a “Chilean Technological Institute for solar energy, low emissions mining and advanced materials of lithium and other materials” in the context of MI-4 and related to the IC5 Converting Sunlight where Chile is a member.

The Technological Institute should develop industrial research and technological development, provide technological services, collaborate with the development and strengthening of human capacities, execute actions of diffusion, extension and promotion of entrepreneurship and technology-based innovation and open innovation.

The areas of interest are solar energy, low emissions mining and advance materials of lithium and other minerals for electromobility and energy storage. It is expected a project with a time scope of at least ten years and funds for more than USD 10 million per year.

Cerro Dominador CSP power plant construction
Lithium plant in the Atacama desert