Published:  01:18 AM, 16 July 2017

Chile minister sees power prices falling

Record low renewable energy prices in Chile are here to stay and will likely push power prices even lower, Chile's energy minister told Reuters, a development that would pressure the nation's already squeezed diesel and natural gas industries.

Chile, with ample solar and wind resources, has become a poster child for renewable energy, with other countries looking to emulate the sector's development. In August 2016, wind and solar producers won the right to supply around half of the power in a massive 12.3-terrwatt government auction to supply Chile's public grid for 20 years starting in 2021.

But some of the winning renewable projects are struggling to obtain financing, raising speculation that the rock-bottom prices at last year's auction will not be repeated when producers come back to the table for a 2.2-terawatt contest this October.

In an interview late on Thursday, Chilean Energy Minister Andres Rebolledo dismissed those concerns, and said that while prices may not fall significantly more, they will likely fall nonetheless. "We want the auction this year to reflect what has been happening, which is dropping prices ... and we expect this auction will consolidate this tendency," he said.

-Reuters, Santiago

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