Interview: Andrés Romero Celedón, Executive Secretary, Comisión Nacional de Energía, Chile

Interview: Andrés Romero Celedón, Executive Secretary, Comisión Nacional de Energía, Chile image

Andrés Romero Celedón, Executive Secretary, Comisión Nacional de Energía, Chile

University of Chile´s Lawyer, Master in Governance and Public Management from Ortega Gasset Institute, Spain. He served in multiple positions in the government and private sectors since 2001 up to day. In such responsibilities he has specialized in public policies, institutional reforms and organizational management, especially in the energy sector. Between 2010 and March 2014, he was Managing Partner of the consulting Sustentank, specializing in the development of policies, regulations and projects on energy, natural resources and government reforms. He also served as national and international consultant in energy efficiency, providing consulting services to various international organizations (ECLAC, Olade, BID), national and local Latin American´s governments and various governmental bodies Chile. Previously, between 2008 and 2010 he served as Director of National Energy Efficiency Program of the National Energy Commission, leading the process of building the Chilean energy efficiency policy. Under his leadership, the program was recognized internationally with the “Energy Efficiency Visionary Award-2010”, awarded by the Alliance to Save Energy, USA. Previously, between the years 2007-2008 was adviser to the Minister President of the National Energy Commission on regulatory, legislative and institutional matters of the energy sector. He is currently Executive Secretary of the National Energy Commission of the Government of Chile.

We caught up with Andrés Romero Celedón, Executive Secretary, Comisión Nacional de Energía, Chile, ahead of the Latin America Energy Forum this March to discover Chile’s priorities with regards to developing the country’s energy sector

What is the government’s vision for the development of Chile’s electricity sector in the next 5-10 years? What will be the priorities?

At the start of the current government, the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, presented an Action Plan for the energy sector called the Energy Agenda, with the objective of contributing to growth, economic development and greater social inclusion in Chile. The Energy Agenda was developed thanks to the contribution of various industries: businesses, NGOs, government and academics. Its main objectives were to reduce energy prices, remove the existing barriers to NCREs, promote the efficient use of energy and develop a long-term Energy Policy. Therefore since December 2015, Chile has had a long-term National Energy Policy called “Energy 2050.” The main goals for the next 35 years are to provide 100% of the homes for vulnerable families and quality access to energy services; to see 70% of the ational electricity generation coming from renewable energies; for all energy projects developed in the country to have mechanisms for partnership between the community and companies; for Chile to be among the 3 OECD
countries with lower average electricity prices; to see 100% of new buildings with high standards of efficient construction and systems of control and intelligent management of energy; 100% of the main categories of appliances and equipment to be sold in the market corresponding to energy efficient equipment; and to complete the interconnection of Chile with the Andean Electricity Interconnection System and the Mercosur countries. In terms of the immediate future, the current administration of the Minister of Energy, Andrés Rebolledo, has stated that the most immediate priorities in the energy sector will be to maintain the rhythm of investments (In 2016, energy was the leading sector in Chile with 30% of total investment, or US $ 5.8 billion); introduceinnovation in the sector; finalize the Cardones- Pulpaico transmission line and the regional energy integration and promote upcoming tenders for electricity supply.

Throughout this process, where do you see an increase in private sector participation?

In order to achieve the Energy Policy objectives in Chile and the tasks outlined as part of it, it is necessary to involve all actors, including the private sector as the engine of energy development, where the State is the articulator of this in order to guarantee the common good of the Chileans.

Where do you see opportunities for regional co-operation for the development of Latin America’s energy sector?

Given the growing relevance of the energy sector in the world and the challenges of technological progress, it is necessary that the different countries collaborate in three areas: the development of human capital capable of solving the different problems that we will have to face in the next years; providing open public information on energy to the community and sharing good practices and knowledge for the development of appropriate public policies in the energy sector.