“It is up to us to take advantage of the opportunities of the energy transition”
The reference of the Center for Energy Transition (Chile), Carlos Silva, opened the streaming, “Vaca Muerta, nexus for Energy Integration” organized by Better Energy. He considered that gas and renewable energy are two priority sources of supply that would complement demand and supply on both sides of the Andes Mountains.
“We have systems that have developed quite differently. For example, it is enough to see the level of natural gas supply that Argentina has and the reserves it has. Compare it with the situation in Chile, where we have practically no reserves of any kind and very, very little production. So, there one sees a complementarity that will undoubtedly give way to integration,” said Silva, a specialist in energy efficiency, micro and macroeconomics, and electrical systems, from the organization part of the Adolfo Ibáñez University.
“There are opportunities, and it is up to us to be able to take advantage of them,” he said in the dialogue with Fernando Castro, director of Mejor Energía.
“We have very clear opportunities. Today, for example, we have a lot of solar energy and a lot of potential to install more solar energy, but we simply don’t have enough demand to be able to place it (in Chile). And that could be corrected through a process of integration with our neighbor. And what better neighbor do you want people to say in this regard? ”, He affirmed regarding the complementarity with Argentina.
Along these lines, he maintained that there are European models that can also provide examples of this possible complementarity: “We also see the experience of European countries, which have made strong progress in energy transitions, complementing demand and supply of their renewable production. In isolation, it is very difficult for us to resolve energy transition issues.”
At the same time, he referred to a certain history of supply defaults from the Argentine side at other historical moments.
“I think we are collecting what we have learned in the attempts, some of which could be considered unsuccessful; but we take these lessons and look forward with optimism, seeing the opportunities that integration brings and also that we have all this infrastructure available, with gas pipelines that are already there”, he evaluated.
At the same time, he pointed out that “the integration that we can carry out with Argentina in terms of gas or electricity is always a complement to the production that we have here locally of electrical energy with renewable sources.”
When asked, the specialist from the academic field referred to the context of non-compliance in the early 2000s, with Argentina stopping sending gas to the neighboring country: “We have to be very aware of recent history to understand these sensitivities. A lot of investment was made in Chile, gas pipelines were built, the industry was transformed, 10 combined cycles were built to use that gas. And as we well know, in 2004 the cuts began to deepen to finally stop receiving gas from Argentina. And that meant some 20,000 million dollars for the use of less efficient technologies”.
“We know that we do not have to depend, I believe that it is never healthy, especially in these initial steps of integration, it is never healthy to depend completely on the supply of anyone, it has nothing to do with Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil. Always one has to also have some local or alternative means to provide services. Those are certain lessons we’ve taken. I believe that we are ready to take new steps in this integration process”.