Elaboration of joint Chile – Switzerland energy R&D strategy and launch of initial projects
The project aims at developing joint R&D projects in four main areas:
Energy efficiency (Buildings – residential, commercial and industrial; Industrial processes)
Switzerland has defined a strategic energy plan for the future, including different components (the SuisseEnergie Program, the 2000 Watts society and the Minergie norm), where energy efficiency is an important component. The EPFL Energy Center conducts research related to industrial and building energy efficiency. Chile on the other hand has recently embarked on an ambitious energy efficiency plan, and could benefit importantly form Swiss advances.
Alternative renewable energy (wind, geothermal, solar, integration with energy storage)
The significant growth of renewable energy in different countries worldwide is raising the need to dimension their impact on the electric systems, networks and markets. Joint research will be done to assess that impact and determine measures to reduce problems that may arise.
Small hydro (small hydro-plants – 10 MW and less, municipal water treatment facilities, irrigation plants)
The EPFL laboratory for hydraulic machines (LMH) conducts research on a broad range of hydro turbines and pumps, including on small hydro generation, which could be useful for research being done in Chile. UCh is interested in the development, design and testing of standardized small run-of-river hydro units, adapted to the national requirements in size and flow. PUC is doing research on sea current electricity generation and would benefit from advances of the EPFL lab in both analysis and design stages.
Public policies(market development, impact of EU policies, public reaction to nuclear power plants)
Chile has a long experience in deregulation of the electricity market and PUC and UCh have been contributing in the field. The objective is to share regulatory models and tariff schemes with Swiss researchers and policy makers, while at the same time learning of the integration of nuclear energy in Switzerland, and the regulatory challenges and entry barriers that could be faced in Chile.