The great potential that Chile has untapped: Geothermal ENERGY.

For many years, some countries are developing projects with this type of Unconventional Renewable Energy (URE) both to generate electricity or heating, so why we do not take advantage of geothermal energy yet?

Earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions are some of the natural disasters to which Chileans are already accustomed to witness. However, we have not noticed that these disasters caused by geological faults make Chile one of the countries with the greatest potential for generating Unconventional Renewable Energy (URE).

Nevertheless, there is a clean energy in particular which would be a great contribution to both economic growth and the environment: geothermal, the energy which comes from inside the Earth.
The director of the Center of Excellence in Geothermics of Los Andes (CEGA), Diego Morata, said "the Andes is the largest geothermal reservoir of untapped world".

"There are certain areas of the planet that have a high geothermal gradient, due to geological condition. This means that in relatively shallow depth, the temperature increases faster. The fact that we have a largest number of active volcanoes means that we have a high geothermal gradient", he says.

A normal geothermal gradient is 33°C per kilometer and a height of between 100 and 200°C per kilometer, explains the academic at the University of Chile.

"Germany has installed about 30 MWh with geothermal energy and they do not have active volcanoes, they obtain heat from Earth, the difference is that they have to drill three to four thousand meters to reach the sufficient temperature to generate electricity, while we have to drill just a thousand meters", he exemplifies.

USA, New Zealand, Iceland, Italy, Indonesia, the Philippines, El Salvador and Nicaragua are some of the main nations that use this energy. "Strictly speaking anywhere in the world could generate electricity with geothermal energy, its profitability will depends on how deep they have to drill," emphasizes the academic of the Geology Department at the University of Chile.

Indonesia, as a member of the Ring of Fire of the Pacific Ocean (Chile is also part of it) wants to use this condition and increase five times its geothermal production, during the next 10 years, but bureaucracy and high costs are holding back their development. Currently, it produces about 1,400 MW of electricity, which becomes from this clean energy, but the government wants to increase them to 7,200.

In our country and in South America, there is only one geothermal power plant project and it is under construction: Cerro Pavilion, in the commune of Ollagüe, in the region of Antofagasta. It will also be the only one built at an altitude of 4,500 meters above sea level.

The plant, owned by Geothermal North, a company controlled by 51% by Enel Green Power Chile Ltda. And a 49% of ENAP, consists of two units of 24 MW with a total gross installed capacity of 48 MW.

Once in operation, it will be able to produce about 340 GWh per year, equivalent to the consumption needs of about 154,000 households. Thereby, it will avoid more than 155,000 tons of the annual CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. His initial investment was US $ 320 million and is scheduled to take up the first half of 2017.

Benefits and barriers of geothermal energy

Diego Morata stresses that geothermal energy is a source of continuous power, this means, it is present 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it is safe, it does not emit no CO2 and also, it means that the area it occupies is "very small as a football field".

"For example, it could help us in different areas, for example, if air pollution in cities is mitigated, less money would be spent on health, also it could create new opportunities for local and regional development with new jobs and develop a new industry that does not exist today Chile, which is the geothermal heat pumps", he highlights. Furthermore, it has multiple uses, not only for electricity but also for heating. "It's not anything crazy, the city of Munich in Germany, which has about one million inhabitants, is 100% heated with geothermal energy, also The German Parliament, Berlin airport and thousands of homes in Paris. It is not a fantasy; it's reality", he stresses.

Some of the disadvantage it has is that it is the only energy source that has what is known as the mining risk, "you do not see where it is," says Morata and adds: "First you have to do research studies that may take up to five years to define where it might be. "

In this way, the Ministry of Energy suggests that the current diagnosis of the low development of geothermal energy in the country is mainly due to these risks in drilling to verify the existence of geothermal resources, and also the lack of a consolidated industry in this matter. "Typically in an exploratory program are needed a minimum of four deep wells for testing (...) currently drilling a geothermal well in Chile is around US $ 10 million," reveals astudy provided by Emol. "Chile needs to rely in itself. The States has a lack of will to take this decision, which has been taken by all the countries where, nowadays, there is power generation geothermal energy. From the most communist country to the most capitalist and liberal, in all of them, the State started taking that decision to say 'I as a State will drive and develop geothermal projects', only after that the private sector comes. Here, the State does not have the role of actor, but is rather a regulator”, criticizes Dr. in Geological Sciences from the University of Granada.


Apostille: Implementation in Chile

Convention of Apostille will allow to certificate Chilean documents in a single procedure for use abroad and vice versa.

Those who need to use public documents abroad will not have to make the long journey they had to do to legalize documents. The reason is that the Apostille Convention entered into force today.

In the same way, foreign documents that need to be presented in Chile for different procedures can be presented with the Apostille of their country of origin.

This chain of procedures will be replaced by only one, at no additional cost, which will result in significant savings in time and money for people, Chilean and foreign, improving their quality of life.

"Today we take a blow to the bureaucracy and the formalities," said the Minister of Foreign Affairs Heraldo Muñoz, to kick start the implementation of this agreement. This "will allow Chile and 112 countries to simplify procedures for legalization of international documents, so that will constitute a single procedure, a one-stop, instead of the procession had to do people until today, walking around different ministries and government departments", he added.

Along with the Chancellery, who led the coordination in the field, other government departments are also entitled to apostille public documents, which are the Ministries of Education, Justice and Health and the Service of Civil Registry and Identification. This procedure can be done in the entire national territory through their respective SEREMIS and other competent authorities authorized to issue such certifications.

Study certificates, copies of judgments, marriage certificates, criminal record, vaccination certificates and prescriptions are just some of the documents that can be annotated in this unique procedure.

The Secretary of State stressed: "we are responding to the demands of the people, less paperwork, less procession through different ministries to legalize a document. It has been a long road, the Chancellery and public services have had to prepare, train officials, but Chile is already part of this agreement "

Chilean Apostille has the following characteristics:

Electronics: The Chilean Apostille type is "e-Apostille", which means that the certification of the document will be made through advanced electronic signature and its authenticity can be verified through a system of online consultation.

Decentralized Attention: Users can go to the five services and to the competent authorities to Apostille documents in all regions of the country.

Free: The procedure or exercise Apostille a document will not have a cost to the user. In any case the Apostille of a document increases the cost of completing a procedure.
The competent authorities for Apostille public documents are: Justice Ministry
• Secretary for Justice (in the case of the Metropolitan Region)
• Regional Ministerial Secretaries

Education Ministry
• Regional Ministerial Secretaries

Health Ministry
• Regional Ministerial Secretaries
• Directors of Health Services
• Mayor of Health Providers

Service of Civil Registry and Identification
• National Director
• Regional Directors

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
• General Director of Consular Affairs and Immigration

Projected 2020 investment in real estate is higher than mining

Projected investment nationally in 2020 includes works in trade, hotels, health, offices and construction of 121,723 homes for a total of EUR 9,134 million.

Real estate investment in Chile, planned for the five years 2016-2020, will reach EUR 9.134 million, involving the construction of 121,723 homes –houses and departments– plus commercial property, hotels and offices, among others.

This was revealed by a report of the Corporation Capital Goods published in "El Mercurio" with data for the second quarter of 2016, adding that this amount exceeds the EUR 5,414 million in the register of private mining investment for the same span and it is in second place after energy (EUR 10,508 million).

Within the EUR 9,134 million in the real estate sector, 74.7% of that investment is linked to the housing subsector, with EUR 6,828 million and 172 projects are registered. It is followed by "mixed-housing-commercial" with EUR 528 million and 30 initiatives. The report specifies that in the "commercial" segment there are malls, stripcenters and locals, while in "health" is considered the construction and renovation of clinics and other facilities.

The analysis of the regional distribution of investment shows that 69.5% is concentrated in the Metropolitan Region with 177 projects, 78,626 homes and EUR 6,347 million for the five-year period. In second place, Antofagasta is found, with 9% (EUR 821 million) of global real estate amount, highlighting the initiatives South Laguna and Mirador Costa said the Corporation Capital Goods.

The third place is for Biobio Region, with EUR 562 million in 2020, although within the 17 projects registered, six have final date of construction for 2016. The report highlights in the plan the neighbour “Barrio Brisa” in the area “Sol Sector Oriente”, with EUR 290 million and it has date of closure in 2022.

Metropolitan Region

The detailed analysis of the investments in the Metropolitan Region (RM) shows that Colina appears as the commune with the highest amount to be executed in the period, which is equivalent to 23% (EUR 1,465 million) of EUR 6,347 million projected for the entire region. In this case, the report highlighted real estate initiatives in Piedra Roja, Chamisero and Santa Elena.

The second commune of RM with most outlay is Las Condes, with EUR 443 million, eight projects and 1,449 residential units. Then, Estación Central is listed with EUR 349 million, 12,479 homes and 20 initiatives.

Employment and projection

The Corporation Capital Goods noted that the real estate sector is the area which requires the greater amount of employment for its projects, outperforming public works, mining and energy. The peak of this area was in January 2016, with 50,299 people. Then it falls steadily, due to a low rate of replenishment initiatives, up to 12,665 jobs by the end of 2020 (with current estimates).

Mining sector would record a maximum in employment by April 2018 (26.459 people), and energy would have reached in February 2016, with 23,083 persons.

About projections of the intensity of real estate investment for the next periods, the Corporation Capital Goods said that "it is expected to trend downward, because there are several factors that indicate it, such as declining building permits registered by the INE, the low growth projection for 2016, provided by the Central Bank, with a GDP of 1.5 to 2.0%, and the largest banking credit restrictions ".