Sunday, October 4, 2020

Power and the cost of living


The water and sun that keeps our lights on!

The cost of living is an important consideration for  most people on a budget and Chile is certainly not one of the cheaper countries to relocate to in Latin America but we feel you get what you pay for! Chile may be a bit more expensive than Ecuador or Peru but the quality and standards of living are quite a bit higher. 

Two people in a two bedroom apartment will spend an average of $30,000 CLP per month on electricity. Five people living in a four bedroom house should expect to pay around $80,000 CLP per month.

Most homes use a propane stove and a propane hot water heater with no central heating. Many city-dwellers use propane space heaters since they can’t burn firewood because of pollution regulations. A two person home will spend around $18,000 CLP per month on propane. A four- five person home should expect $54,000 CLP per month just for the stove and hot water but with no propane heater. 

We currently pay around 25,000 CLP for a square meter of firewood which could last a month if we were using it only for heat. But on our farm we use wood for heating,cooking, and hot water and we often harvest wood off our own property so our price per month could be much lower depending on how hard we want to work to harvest the wood!

If you are interested in more information on the cost of living in Chile and other important topics to immigration, please consider purchasing my book available for sale on the right sidebar. Your purchase includes a document worksheet plus a 30 minute free phone or email consultation. We are not lawyers or immigration experts but we can share our experiences and put you in contact with those who are the experts!

Energy production in Chile is mainly through coal fired power plants with a roughly equal production through hydro and less in natural gas and oil power plants while wind and solar generation is growing. The coast of Chile is always windy so many wind turbines are going up. The Atacama desert is the sunniest and driest place on earth so solar plants are going up there. 

This wind farm is in Loncotoro near the town of Llanquihue

Big beautiful wind turbines. Here are the statistics-

Each tower is 119 meters or 390 feet tall
The blades are 61 meters or 200 feet in length and weigh 14 tons and are made of reinforced fibreglass.
Each turbine is 3 megawatts and with 43 turbines the project, when fully operational,  will have a maximum capacity of 129 MW and will supply clean energy to around 200,000 homes.
The largest wind farm in South America is the El Arrayan in northern Chile and there seem to be plans for several other sites as well in the Coquimbo region north of Santiago and one in the deep south near Punta Arenas.
It is great to see Chile investing in wind and solar energy as energy has been a real problem and Chile and has high costs compared to other South American countries.
What's even more interesting is that one wind turbine is going up in our neighborhood! Great to see though it won't affect us much as we are solar off grid. - La Serena , Chile's biggest wind farm - lots of news on all the different energy projects going on all over Chile

International Energy Agency - the stats on Chile's energy production

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