A few months ago a group of Members introduced a bill prohibiting the installation and operation of coal-fired thermoelectric generation plants throughout the national territory from 2026.
Faced with this situation, the National Electricity Coordinator, an independent body of both companies and the Government, which, as the name implies, coordinates the operation of the electricity sector, has carried out a study showing the serious consequences that this measure would have on the safety and costs of electricity supply from 2026. Thus, this agency foresees a significant increase in the operating costs of the electrical system, which would double.
On the other hand, the so-called marginal system time cost, which corresponds to the variable cost of the most expensive unit of the system being operating, the Coordinator anticipates that they would quadruple at night.
In this regard, it should be noted that users require energy every hour of the day and, therefore, companies, including those developing photovoltaic or wind projects must, in most cases, sign contracts ensuring continuous supply and for this they must buy energy during the hours that they cannot generate due to lack of sun or wind. These purchases are valued at marginal time cost. It is therefore easy to foresee that wind and photovoltaic projects will suffer a significant impairment that will limit their development.
In addition, by 2026, the withdrawal of service from coal-fired power plants in the Valparaiso region would record security of supply problems and require diesel-using units, with the consequent higher cost and CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions, very similar to those of coal-fired power plants.
It is striking that there is so much interest in shutting down coal-fired power plants and there is no concern for other sectors that also emit CO2, such as the burning of diesel in vehicles. These also contaminate locally with particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, among others, which are very harmful to health:
It is curious, to say the very least, that some parliamentarians only worry about CO2 emissions from coal-fired power stations, without weighing the costs of their proposals for citizenship in general and in particular for industry and mining, especially in a period when their greater dynamism is required to deal with the crisis affecting the country and the world.
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