Chile is exploring the possibility of installing small-scale hydropower plants as part of an effort to diversify its energy mix, according to a report in Noticias Financieras.

This is in response to a sharp increase in energy demands in the country.

These units could generate up to 10 000 MW in installed capacity, which is the equivalent of four times the capacity of the controversial 2750 MW HydroAysen hydroelectric dam, according to the Asociacion de Pequenas y Medianas Centrales Hidroelectricas (the Association of Small and Medium-Sized Hydropower).

According to the report, Chile has waterfalls that make it suitable for the installation of small-scale hydro.

However, despite the fact that the electricity generated by small-hydro plants is clean and relatively cheap to install, delays in environmental permits may impede their deployment.

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