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Direct use of geothermal energy for the promotion of sustainable production model in rural areas in Chile

  • Published on June 15, 2017
The initiative aims to test the potential of geothermal energy to reduce GHG and local pollutant emissions in one of the most polluted regions of Chile. The pilot will involve the local community in the design, installation and management of a heating system with a geothermal heat pump for firewood drying, and a connected greenhouse that will harness the energy losses of the dryer to produce vegetables.
The general objective of the project is to reduce GHG and local pollutants emissions based on the proposal of business model and replicability strategies for the implementation of pilot projects centred in the sustainable production of firewood and vegetables in rural areas of Chile considering geothermal resources. The project considers the design and installation of a heating system with a geothermal heat pump of 20 kW for firewood dryer. It will decrease the moisture of 34 m3 of firewood from 40% to 20% in 21 days supplying the demand of at least 25 houses from the Patagonia (Aysén region). To improve the efficiency of our system, we are proposing to build the dryer inside an 80 m2 greenhouse and we will harness the energy losses of the dryer for heating this greenhouse. The project will be developed in partnership with the community, so this process will allow empowering individuals to adopt sustainable lifestyles because it will consider, depending on the necessities and interest of the community, educational activities, awareness-raising and participation. These activities will be supported by different activities and forms of education; among which may be mentioned workshops to knowledge of geothermal energy and efficient energy use, demonstrative activities of the benefits of using dry firewood and techniques for cultivation in greenhouses, among others. Please contact Patricia Vilchis Tella of Stockholm Environment Institute for more information.
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