HomeDecentralized EnergyDistrict EnergyChile sees district energy as solution to pollution

Chile sees district energy as solution to pollution

The Chilean government has announced a new strategy involving the use of district energy to improve air quality.

According to official figures, air pollution is responsible for 4,000 premature deaths in the country, costing $8 billion (à‚£6.4bn) per year in medical expenses and lost labour productivity.

In collaboration with UN Environment, Chile is looking to scale up district heating with $60m in loans aimed at improving the sector.
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Temuco, a city of 290,000 inhabitants in Chile’s south, is one of the cities that has signed up to receive support from UN Environment’s District Energy in Cities Initiative, a public-private partnership.

The city’s air quality is said to be the third worst in the country, with dangerous pollutant concentrations five times higher than World Health Organisation standards.

Environment Minister Marcelo Mena said: “Our cities are struggling to tackle air pollution from burning firewood for heating. This is causing an urgent health crisis for our citizens.

“District energy provides the infrastructure to use diverse clean, local energy sources for heating, such as waste heat, geothermal and heat pumps, helping to address air pollution.”

UN initiative seeks to bring district energy into the mainstream