A viable source to implement a “district energy” system in the San Pedro de la Paz commune defined the study carried out by the Technological Development Unit of the Universidad de Concepción (UdeC), within the framework of a pilot program of the Ministries of Environment and Energy, together with the Environment UN in the commune.

This model that is applied in developed countries, allows reducing polluting emissions, in addition to providing a more economical source of energy for families.

The study carried out by UdeC identified Papeles Biobío, in San Pedro de la Paz, as a potential source of residual energy, which is taking advantage of the waste heat that the industry generates in its production processes.

In this way, the commune would be the first in Chile in which the implementation of a “district energy” system would be profitable allowing to develop a pilot project.

This study was applied by the Municipality of San Pedro de la Paz to the Environment UN during the year 2017, which was done with the support of the Ministries of Energy and Environment.


The National Technical Coordinator of District Energy of the Environment UN, Pilar Lapuente, explained that the identification of the waste heat generated by Papeles Biobío could allow the connection via underground pipes to homes in sectors adjacent to the plant.

“This is a study that yielded positive data. The next stage involves knowing if Papeles Biobío is willing to implement this business or if there is another interested company”, said Lapuente.

The Mayor Audito Retamal said that a work group with the company to carry out the initiative already began, which would be developed in the Huertos Familiares sector. In a first stage, it will involve connecting 300 apartments and 200 houses, which will depend on the demand and the interest of families to join this system.

“We must think in a sustainable way to generate energy for the city, because in the next 10 years we will be 300 thousand inhabitants. This project will convert the polluting waste that goes into the atmosphere into energy generators, so the municipality will provide the necessary collaboration”, said the Mayor.

It was reported that studies will also be conducted in nine other communes in the country to implement the “district energy” system, including Coronel, Talcahuano and Hualpén.

Benefits provided by the system

Some of the benefits that consumers would obtain from the “district energy” are a considerable improvement in the air quality inside homes, avoiding indoor pollution and the consumption of oxygen by combustion. In addition, the problems associated with the storage and supply of firewood will be eliminated.

“District heating can bring heat to homes for heating and hot water in a cheap and clean way, and mainly reduce the rates of particulate matter that are generated in the commune as well as in the Metropolitan Concepción,” said the industrial civil engineer of the Technological Development Unit of the Universidad de Concepción, Javier Soubelet.

“This type of system would also allow obtaining differentiated rates for night consumption, considerably raising the heating standard. These benefits would provide a surplus value in each beneficiary dwelling”, he added.

Source: Diario El Sur, Monday, April 3, 2018