Chile launches power system flexibility strategy


Chile’s energy ministry has announced plans to grow the use of system flexibility to manage the increasing penetration of renewable energies and distributed resources such as electric vehicles.

The government projects that more than 50% of power generation will come from variable renewables by 2030. By 2040 all coal-fired plants will be retired. On electromobility, the plan is that all public transportation will be electrified by 2040 and 40% of private vehicles by 2050.

Other concerns are an expected growth in distributed generation, which already exceeds 1GW, the reliability and resilience of the system and achieving the climate commitments of the Paris Agreement.

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The strategy comprises three streams to be delivered over a 30-month period. These are focussed on the market design for flexibility, a regulatory framework for storage and other flexibility resources and the development of flexibility in the power system.

The strategy defines several measures for the market design such as improving the adequacy compensation mechanism and establishing signals to encourage investment in technologies that provide flexibility.

Regulatory issues that need addressing include recognition of the value of storage to the system, improving scheduling procedures and increasing the role of storage in transmission planning. Pilot projects on storage and electric vehicles should be incorporated.

Measures for flexible operation of the system include refinements to the marginal cost signal, the operation scheduling and its real-time operation.

The strategy document notes that some of the regulatory measures proposed are already in development. Modifications have been proposed so that those can be finalised in line with the other measures.

The strategy was developed over the past year by the energy ministry together with the National Commission of Energy (CNE), the National Electricity Coordinator (CEN), an advisory commission of experts and the International Energy Agency.