Chile – a nation once dependent on energy imports – is now turning into a renewable energy powerhouse, reports Ernesto Longdoño of The New York Times. The country is expanding a portfolio of clean energy assets across its diverse landscapes: solar fields in the Atacama Desert, wind farms along the coastline, and geothermal in volcanic hot spots. Chilean officials believe it will meet an ambitious goal to rely on clean sources for 90% of its electricity needs by 2050.
According to analysts at the World Bank, part of this push for clean energy stems from extreme weather events like droughts and floods, which have made hydropower less reliable. In addition to reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, Chile’s burgeoning clean energy economy is also improving access to electricity. For example, the residents Ollague, a tiny town along Chile’s border with Bolivia, can now prosper from access to renewable-powered electricity 24 hours a day.