South-South exchange of experience: renewable energies

Martín Osorio Campusano from Chile’s Energy Commission shares experiences of promoting grid integration with representatives of organisations from the Dominican Republic; Photo: Victor Santana Photography/GIZ Dominican Republic

Martín Osorio Campusano from Chile’s Energy Commission shares experiences of promoting grid integration with representatives of organisations from the Dominican Republic; Photo: Victor Santana Photography/GIZ Dominican Republic

As part of the IKI project ‘Promoting a Low-Carbon Energy System for the Achievement of the Climate Objectives of the Dominican Republic’, an exchange of experiences took place in the country’s capital Santo Domingo on 27 September 2018. The event involved high-ranking representatives of energy institutions and associations from Chile and the Dominican Republic and tackled issues of integrating renewable energies.

More than 70 participants from the energy sector in the Dominican Republic heard from Chilean colleagues about the difficulties they had faced in integrating renewable energy into a largely unregulated and fiercely competitive Chilean energy market and the resistance they encountered from market participants. They also learned about the political framework needed to overcome these difficulties, the standards and legislation required, and what success had been achieved in integrating renewables into the Chilean electricity market.

Group photo of participants from Chile and the Dominican Republic; Photo: Victor Santana Photography/GIZ Dominican Republic

Of particular interest to the energy experts from the Dominican Republic was Chile’s experience with feeding in variable amounts of electricity generated from solar and wind power and the country’s ‘Public Solar Roofs Programme’, which was designed to promote the market for individual household photovoltaic systems linked to the grid. Chile’s tendering procedures for public energy auctions, adapted for renewable energy, and the newly introduced centralised forecasting system for energy management were also topics for discussion. The Dominican Republic is currently working on initial tender procedures for renewable energies and is developing a forecasting system for energy management.

Carlos Finat from the Chilean renewable energy association ACERA shares experiences with representatives of UERS, the organisation in the Dominican Republic promoting rural and suburban electrification; Photo: Rainer Schröer, GIZ Chile

In the Dominican Republic, fluctuating renewable sources of energy (wind and solar) have so far been known as ‘energías no gestionables’ - ‘non-controllable sources of energy’ - including in the 2007 renewable energy legislation. Now this legislation is up for review, and grid operators are putting up substantial resistance to integrating electricity generated from renewable sources. In 2014, Chile was in much the same situation. Now, however, more than 20% of its total electricity consumption is generated from renewable sources - solar and wind power. Chile’s rapid development of renewables is being discussed around the region and is a model for many countries. The Dominican Republic also has huge potential for solar and wind energy. Quantifying this potential is currently the focus of the IKI project.

The transfer of Chile’s experiences to other Latin American countries is being promoted through IKI projects implemented in the region by GIZ on behalf of BMU as part of its outreach activities. After Argentina and Uruguay, the Dominican Republic is the third country in the region to which Chile’s experiences have been transferred via specific measures.

Rodrigo Espinoza from Chile’s national transmission company CEN talks to representatives of the supervisory body for the energy sector in the Dominican Republic (SIE) and of the country’s national transmission company (ETED); Photo: Victor Santana Photography/GIZ Dominican Republic

The directors of the relevant IKI energy projects, Clemens Findeisen and Rainer Schröer, highlighted in their speeches that the approach of South-South cooperation between specialist bodies in the countries involved is a valuable tool that will achieve rapid results in terms of rolling out the use of renewable energies in the region.

Group photo (from left): Clemens Findeisen (Director of the Energiewende project in the Dominican Republic), Dr Volker Pellet (German Ambassador), Inocencio García Javier (Deputy Minister of International Cooperation), Oscar de la Masa (Director of the Division of Renewable Energy in the Ministry of Energy and Mining), Romilio Gutiérrez Pino (Chilean Ambassador), Verena Blickwede (Director of GIZ’s Caribbean Regional Office); Photo: Victor Santana Photography/ GIZ Dominican Republic

The exchange of experience is to be continued with visits by delegations from the Dominican Republic to Chile, enabling the visitors to find out first-hand about the Chilean situation and to continue dialogue with their Chilean counterparts. On 29 October 2018, two representatives of the grid operator in the Dominican Republic travelled to Chile at the invitation of the Chilean transfer grid operator CEN. Here, they were due to hold talks with Chilean experts in integrating variable solar- and wind-powered electricity into the grid.