chileansLast week Brighton Energy Coop hosted a delegation from Chile, visiting Brighton to look at innovative sustainability models that might be taken home to South America. Led by the British Embassy in Santiago, delegates included the representatives from the Chilean Ministry of Housing, the Ministry of Energy, and various Regional Energy and Environmental Authorities. The group was on a 3-day visit to the UK, meeting a variety of leading energy experts.

Community Energy is a new concept to Chile, yet the country has significant renewable resources: the sunniest part of Chile has twice as much sunlight as the UK, for example. Most renewable  development to date has been done by private corporations – so municipal and community energy would be a welcome innovation in the market.

The Carbon Trust recommended BEC as a leading community energy scheme in UK. After a site visit to Hove Enterprise Centre to see our 2012 installation, the meeting continued at Bankers Fish & Chips on Western Road, accompanied by local bitter: Harvey’s. The choice of ale was particularly appropriate: Harvey’s are a keen advocate of community energy and host several hundred solar panels of BEC’s sister energy coop OVESCO in Lewes.

Damian Tow, a BEC director said: “It was a fascinating opportunity to share our experiences with so many representatives of the energy sector in Chile. We look forward to developing a further relationship to help community energy flourish in South America”

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