UC Seminar and EDF Chile Address the Need for Long-Term Storage to Achieve Sustainability and Carbon Neutrality Goals

Co-organized by the French power generation company EDF Chile and the Energy Center of the Pontifical Catholic University, key players in the energy industry discussed the imperative need to incorporate long-term storage technologies as an enabling condition for the country to achieve a 100% renewable energy matrix.

One of the current challenges facing the energy transition in our country is to ensure the efficiency and security of an electrical system that has witnessed a significant influx of variable renewable energies in a relatively short period, alongside the phased-out retirement of thermoelectric units. This transition aims to reach a 100% renewable energy matrix by 2050. In this context, having the capacity for both short and long-term energy storage is presented as a fundamental requirement.

With the goal of addressing the national electrical system's need for storage capacity to continue integrating renewable energies and decarbonizing the matrix, as well as to exchange views on the regulatory challenges for storage project development, EDF Chile – a subsidiary of the French state-owned energy company – and the Energy Center of the Pontifical Catholic University organized the seminar "Energy Storage: Advancing toward a 100% Renewable Matrix."

The event brought together experts, industry leaders, and energy sector authorities to review the various legal and regulatory initiatives being promoted by the government to encourage storage development. They also discussed whether these initiatives are suitable for enabling the various types of storage required to advance the energy transition and achieve sustainability and carbon neutrality goals while safeguarding the system's efficiency and security.

In this context, while various experts acknowledged the progress made in encouraging storage capacity development, they emphasized the need for the electrical system to have long-term storage technologies if the goal is to make it 100% renewable. They noted that the current regulation does not adequately recognize the flexibility attributes provided by this type of infrastructure to the system, thereby not signaling the market for its entry.

Subsecretary of Energy, Luis Felipe Ramos, stated: "Storage is fundamental in the energy transition process we are undertaking. We need new technologies that allow us to increase the share of renewable energies in our system. In this context, we present the Energy Transition Bill, an initiative that aims to enable a public and international tender for large-scale storage system infrastructure, with the goal of advancing further in the energy transition process and the necessary investments for decarbonization."

EDF Chile CEO, Joan Leal, highlighted the high participation in the event and the level of discussion around a critical topic for Chile's energy transition. "We organized this seminar together with the UC Energy Center driven by the same interest: to contribute to and promote the development of sustainable and secure energy infrastructure for Chile. In this context, we believe that the development of storage capacity in general, and long-term storage in particular, is key to accelerating the energy transition," noted Leal.

Finally, Alvaro Videla, UC Engineering professor and Director of the UC Energy Center, stated: "As the UC Energy Center, we aim to contribute to and promote the development of a clean and secure energy matrix for the country. With this goal in mind, this seminar allows us to highlight a vital element for advancing renewable energies: high-capacity energy storage. This type of storage will enable the management of excess energy produced during periods of generation surplus and inject it when demand arises. We hope that this discussion space will help us identify opportunities and gaps so that this industry can sustainably grow over time, improving access, security, and the quality of delivered energy.