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Chile: New electricity laws will try to boost competition, clean energy

 |  July 19, 2016

Chile’s Congress has begun the process to review a proposal for a number of important modification to the country’s electric transmission laws. Chileans today pay some of Latin America’s highest rates for their power, due among other things to an uncompetitive energy transmission sector, as well as a poor supply, frequent choking points and a lack of access to clean energy alternatives.

The new laws being discussed have been proposed by the Government in order to tackle these problems. However, critics have said the proposal is but an excuse to increase the government’s control over the electric sector. Proposed modifications increase the role of the State in the country’s energy planning, the expansion of the transmission grid and in the drawing of routes for power lines. Until only recently, the development of the country’s electric industry had been determined almost exclusively by private sector initiative.

The new law will promote competition in power generation, allowing for greater transmission capacity and easing the entry of new power generators into the market. The proposal would also create a new independent agency tasked with coordinating the National Electric System.

Finally, the new transmission laws would also increase transparency in transmission costs for consumers, setting up a new mechanism for allowing greater ease of access to renewable energies into the grid by allowing remuneration for small producers, in keeping with global trends.

Full Content: El Economista América

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