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Negocios Sostenibles

¿Qué potencia la transformación energética de Chile?

Por Javier Rodriguez de Colmenares y Elizabeth Robberechts

El mercado energético en Chile se ha transformado, tanto así que recientemente, el periódico The New York Times destacó esta revolución de energía renovable en un artículo especial. Sin embargo, la historia faltó un componente clave que facilitó esta transformación: los fondos de los donantes.

Los fondos de los donantes, apoyados por los gobiernos, permiten reducir las barreras de costos y riesgos. Los fondos pueden financiar proyectos de energía renovable que utilicen tecnologías no probadas o que se desarrollen en nuevos mercados, los que generalmente no son financiados por otras fuentes. Además, estos fondos cumplen con los más altos estándares sociales y ambientales, dado que su objetivo es impulsar un clima más propicio para las inversiones en los países en desarrollo.

Por ejemplo, en 2008, Chile contaba con menos de 20 megavatios (MW) de energía renovable no convencional instalada (ERNC), tales como energía eólica, solar y geotérmica. La Política Energética 2050 del gobierno chileno estableció como meta aumentar la participación de Chile en ERNC a un 60% mínimo, para 2035. Pese al entusiasmo de los desarrolladores, por el ambiente político estable y la dotación de recursos disponibles en Chile, que incluye más de 300 días de sol al año en el desierto de Atacama, los bancos tenían poca o ninguna experiencia con tecnologías de ERNC. Aquí es donde los fondos son clave para el desarrollo de estos proyectos.

Capaces de superar barreras de costos y riesgos

Con el acceso a los fondos de los donantes, otros organismos, como las multilaterales, pueden desplegar estructuras financieras que superen ciertas barreras de costos y riesgos, para que los proyectos sean factibles para los desarrolladores en la región.

Así, el Fondo de Tecnología Limpia (CTF) y el Fondo Climático Canadiense para el Sector Privado de las Américas (C2F), por mencionar algunos, nos permiten «mezclar» nuestro capital y en última instancia tomar más riesgos. Por ejemplo, en 2013, la Corporación Interamericana de Inversiones (CII) sumó a su financiamiento un préstamo de C2F para Pozo Almonte y Calama Solar, las primeras plantas fotovoltaicas a gran escala de América Latina.

El mercado chileno evolucionó rápidamente. Para el año 2014, el proyecto solar Crucero, también financiado por la CII, despertó el interés de un banco comercial. De la misma forma, otros bancos comerciales financiaron cientos de megavatios de NCRE por si solos. Así, hoy en día, la energía solar fotovoltaica en Chile ya no necesita dinero de los donantes.

En gran parte, los fondos de los donantes ayudaron a que la CII financiara cinco proyectos fotovoltaicos en Chile, y recientemente completarán su primer proyecto eólico, Aela, que contribuirá a los 3.400 MW de NCRE de Chile. «Para Aela, la participación [de la CII] fue clave, no solo desde el punto de vista del tamaño de su participación, sino también para ayudar a los bancos comerciales a sentirse cómodos con la transacción”, mencionan en Inspiratia.

En la planta geotérmica de Cerro Pabellón, la CII implementó los recursos canalizados a través del CTF, y proporcionó a Enel Green Power un instrumento financiero seguro. Esto permitió compensar el alto costo y riesgos asociados con la perforación geotérmica exploratoria, que la mayoría de los prestamistas comerciales y proveedores de seguros no están dispuestos a tomar.

Los bancos de desarrollo son uno de los pocos jugadores dispuestos a tomar los riesgos y proporcionar tenores a largo plazo. Sin embargo, los fondos de los donantes son los héroes no reconocidos de la transformación energética de Chile.

La tendencia actual en Chile es que el mercado asuma el control cuando los fondos de donantes se retiran. Mientras, a nivel regional otros países como Uruguay, Costa Rica y ahora El Salvador han contribuido al aumento de la energía renovable de América Latina, equivalente al 53% de la generación total de energía, comparado con el 22% del promedio mundial.

Una energía más limpia y comercialmente viable ahora atrae a la próxima generación de la industria chilena. Empresas como Amazon y Alphabet Inc.’s Google quisieran establecer centros de datos impulsados por esta energía renovable. Estas empresas crean empleos y ofrecen capacitación a la fuerza de trabajo chilena. Y así continúa la historia de la energía renovable.

*Este blog fue publicado originalmente en Negocios Sostenibles, de BID Invest.


Javier Rodriguez de Colmenares
Javier es Jefe de la División de Infraestructura y Energía de BID Invest, donde lidera la agenda del sector privado del Grupo BID en el sector de infraestructura con énfasis en transporte, energía, agua y saneamiento, Asociaciones Público-Privadas (APP) e infraestructura social (educación y salud). Javier, de nacionalidad española, cuenta con una amplia trayectoria en financiamiento de proyectos, LBO, asesoramiento de deuda, estructuración de APP así como en derivados, gestión de riesgos y reestructuración de deuda en Latinoamérica, Norteamérica, Europa y Australia. Antes de unirse a BID Invest, fue Director General Adjunto de Riesgos en Banco Santander Brasil, Director Global de Financiación de Proyectos y Adquisiciones para el Grupo Santander y banquero en BBVA. Posee una licenciatura en Derecho y una maestría en Economía y Administración de Empresas por ICADE (Universidad Pontificia de Comilla de Madrid), así como una maestría en Banca de Inversión y Mercados Globales por la Escuela de Finanzas de BBVA.
 

 

Elizabeth Robberechts
Elizabeth Robberechts es Oficial Líder de Inversión en BID Invest, con sede en Washington, DC. Su enfoque se centra en la creación y estructuración de financiamiento para proyectos de energía renovable en América Latina y el Caribe. Cuenta con experiencia en la generación y negociación de financiamientos para proyectos energéticos utilizando tecnologías: eólica, solar fotovoltaica, solar concentrada y geotérmica. Desde 2012, Elizabeth ha participado en el financiamiento de cinco proyectos solares fotovoltaicos en América Latina, incluyendo el primer proyecto de financiamiento de un proyecto solar fotovoltaico en Chile, así como la estructuración de financiamiento para proyectos solares expuestos al riesgo mercantil. Elizabeth habla español e inglés y obtuvo títulos de licenciatura y maestría de la Universidad de Cornell.

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