Type: Country Review (Book)
Subject: Energy security
Chile has experienced several serious energy supply incidents over the last decade, including major droughts, a sustained gas supply cut from Argentina (since 2004), and a major earthquake in early 2010 which affected electricity networks and refineries, and caused several black-outs. Due to Chile’s unique and sinuous geography - it runs 4 300 kilometres from North to South and only 175 kms from East to West- the country’s energy markets are regionally disjointed, particularly as the regional gas and electricity grids are not connected. In the arid North, energy demand is dominated by the mining industry, and operates based on a separate thermal-based Sistema Interconectado Norte Grande (SING) electricity grid. The more densely-populated central region (including Santiago) operates on the more hydro-dependent Sistema Interconectado Central (SIC) electricity grid. The southernmost, hydro-rich regions of the country are not connected to the rest of Chile in terms of electricity and gas. The following report is based on an IEA Emergency Response Assessment carried out in 2010 and 2011 which looked specifically at Chile’s capacity to respond to short-term emergencies in oil, gas and electricity.