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Socioeconomic, Environmental, and Social Impacts of a Concentrated Solar Power Energy Project in Northern Chile

  • Irene Rodríguez
  • Natalia Caldés
  • Alberto Garrido
  • Cristina De La Rúa
  • Yolanda Lechón
Conference paper

Abstract

Concentrated solar power deployment could play an important role in the sustainable development strategy of Chile, the country with the highest solar potential in the world. In this regard, besides electricity generation costs, it is also important to assess the socioeconomic, environmental, and social implications of energy investment projects. To shed some light on this issue, this chapter contributes to the existing body of knowledge by conducting a sustainability assessment of the installation, operation, and maintenance of a 110 MW concentrated solar power tower plant in Chile. Using an input–output methodology based on plant cost data, this chapter estimates the direct and indirect socioeconomic and environmental effects of the project in terms of economic activity, job creation, energy consumption, and CO2 emissions. Additionally, using the Social Hotspots Database, a preliminary social risk analysis in those economic sectors most stimulated by the project in terms of employment is performed. Assuming domestic provision of all goods and services, results show that the associated total socioeconomic impacts over the lifetime of the plant would amount to US $3124 million, a multiplier effect of 2.2, and a ratio of indirect per direct job creation of 1.21. Additionally, results also show that direct and indirect economic activities required by the project would generate 64.36 g CO2/kWh. Finally, a social assessment indicates the existence of a high unemployment risk in those sectors most stimulated; therefore the project could decrease these unemployment risks.

Keywords

Input–output analysis Sustainability impact assessment Concentrated solar power Chile 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was funded by a grant from CIEMAT for the training of research personnel.

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Irene Rodríguez
    • 1
  • Natalia Caldés
    • 1
  • Alberto Garrido
    • 2
  • Cristina De La Rúa
    • 1
  • Yolanda Lechón
    • 1
  1. 1.Energy Systems Analysis UnitEnergy Department, CIEMAT (Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas)MadridSpain
  2. 2.CEIGRAM Research Centre for the Management of Agricultural and Environmental RisksUniversidad Politécnica de MadridMadridSpain

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