Concentrated Solar Power deployment could potentially play an important role in the sustainable development strategy of Chile, the country with the highest solar potential in the world. In this regards, besides electricity generation costs, it is also important to assess the socioeconomic, environmental and social implications of any energy investment project. In order to shed some light to this issue, this work contributes to enlarge 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 and based on plants costs data, this work estimates the socioeconomic and environmental direct and indirect effects of the project in terms of economic activity, job creation, energy consumption, and CO2 emissions. Additionally, using the Social Hotspot 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 during the whole lifetime of the plant would amount to 3,124 million US$, 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 per kWh. Finally, the social assessment indicates the existence of a high unemployment risk in those sectors most stimulated, therefore, the project could decrease these unemployment risks.
Rodríguez, I., Caldés, N., Garrido, A., & De La Rúa1, C. (2016). Socioeconomic, environmental, and social impacts of a concentrated solar power energy project in Northern Chile. In Renewable Energy: A Status Quo (pp. 83–104). River Publishers. https://doi.org/10.1051/rees/2016005