Chile’s energy sector—and the electricity sector in particular—has been under scrutiny during the last 15 years. Challenged by growing electricity demand, the slowed expansion of generation capacity and a rapid rise in electricity prices Chile embarked on development of a long-term energy policy with clear goals for sustainability, without neglecting short-term issues. This case study explores Chile’s experience.
To discuss and build its energy policy, the government of President Michelle Bachelet (2014–18) committed to creating a planning process that would meet the standard of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Since this standard calls for participation, one of the main features of Energy 2050 was the Participatory Process for Energy Policy (Proceso Participativo de la Política Energética), which sought to promote an open process. The goal was a multisector effort that would articulate a shared vision for the future development of the energy sector, including a process of social, political, and technical validation. This was achieved through a four-step process.
- The design of a short-term strategy, the “Energy Agenda,” which was developed in the first 100 days of Bachelet’s administration
- Bridging the Energy Agenda and the long-term energy policy
- A steering committee convened and chaired by the minister of energy, that was charged with providing a strategic orientation for the process and developing the vision of the roadmap to 2050
- The Ministry of Energy including the roadmap’s recommendations to the plan, while complemented them with a broader perspective
Key lessons that can be drawn from the case include: (1) it is important to design a monitoring process in which anyone can participate, through an open monitoring system that provides trustworthy information, easily accessible to all citizens, about progress on key goals; and (2) policies built through participatory processes can reduce uncertainty not only among investors, but also for the entire sector involved.