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Two marine energy projects coming to Chile

Chile flag map

Funding provided by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will help fund the development of two marine energy pilot programs off Chile's southern coast.

The initiative aims to encourage the development of renewable sources in the country, IDB said, after a bank-financed study showed the country has the potential for up to 200 GW more green energy than it is currently producing.

IDB's funding includes US$2.4 million in grant investments for the two pilot programs -- one of which is to focus on tidal energy, and the other on wave energy. Another $550,000 has been allotted for "technical support to accompany the implementation of these pilot programs", IDB said.

"So far, the potential of tidal power has not been used in the country or elsewhere in Latin America, but it has huge potential," IDB consultant Cristoph Tagwerker said.

Chile currently imports about 75% of its energy resources, Tagwerker said, making it ideal for renewable investment.

"In terms of energy needs, Chile is the least self-sufficient country in Latin America after Panama," Tagwerker said. "Chile now has a great opportunity to change its dependency on foreign energy and to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions."

The Chilean government will select the two developers, who will then be responsible for the design, construction and operation of the pilot programs.

IDB will provide technical assistance throughout the process given Chile's inexperience in marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) projects.

For more ocean, tidal and stream power news, visit here.

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