US Dollars amount of Bankable Projects Identified:
$38 million
Number of Cities Engaged:
Number of Partners Engaged:
Number of Trainings Delivered:
Is District Energy incorporated in national policy?
Number of Study Tours Organised:
Engagement of Financial Institutions:


Air pollution is responsible for 4,000 annual cases of premature death by cardiovascular diseases and costs the country $690 million per year in associated medical expenses and reduction of labor productivity (Chile Ministry of Environment, 2014). Concentrations of PM2.5 in southern Chile, in cities like District Energy in Cities pilot city Temuco, are five times higher than World Health Organization standards. Some 94% of this air pollution is attributed to wood burning for heating single-family homes. To improve human health and reduce emissions, Chile is looking at cleaner, more efficient alternatives such as District Heating.


National Steering Committee

With the support of the National Technical Coordinator to oversee the implementation of activities on the ground and engage with local stakeholders, the Initiative is establishing a National Steering Committee.

Country Partners

Engie, Ministry of Environment of Chile, Ministry of Energy of Chile, SOFOFA (Chilean Industry Federation), Dalkia, C2E2, Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency at the Danish Technical University, Danfoss foundation, Aalborg University, State of Green Tours, Fundación Energía para Todos (national NGO)

Expert Working Group

This group supports analysis and training in the cities and national government and provides essential reviews of city assessments and funding proposals. The group is made up of:

  • Engie, which developed a project pre-feasibility study for Temuco;
  • Danfoss, which provided technical input to the district energy assessments;
  • Tractebel, which is developing prefeasibility studies in five cities;
  • Aiguasol, R & D in energy, which is developing three prefeasibility studies in the Biobio region;
  • Focal points from Municipalities, Ministries of Energy and Environment and the National Technical Coordinator, who support experts in city visits, deliver relevant data and information, meet local stakeholders and review the progress of the studies;
  • Municipality of Vancouver, Canada;
  • and the Municipality of Barcelona, Spain.


Building on the Initiative findings and recommendations, the Ministry of Environment has recognized district heating as a key technology to improve air quality, integrating it into national policies such as the Atmospheric Decontamination Plans. The Ministry of Energy also includes district heating in public policies like the Energy Policy 2050 and has recently created a district energy and geothermal unit dedicated to project preparation and accelerated investments. UN Environment, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Environment and SOFOFA, the Chilean industry federation – which comprises 100% of national industrial activity and 30% of GDP – signed an MoU to collaborate on district energy development. The Initiative is supporting the ministries to implement  a Incentive Schemes and a Regulatory Framework on District Energy.

Rapid Assessments and Pre-feasibility Studies: The cities of Coronel, Coyhaique, Hualpén, Independencia, Recoleta, Renca, San Pedro de la Paz, Santiago, Talca, Talcahuano, Temuco and Valdivia have signed up to the Initiative and have benefited from technical support to identify potential projects. Assessments and prefeasibility studies can be downloaded here.

Pilot City: A deep dive is being delivered in Temuco, where the Initiative  is supporting the city to secure investment bids in at least one district heating project and to prepare and adopt a 20-year citywide masterplan on district energy. The initiative is already working to replicate the Temuco experience in other Chilean cities.


  • District heating has been included in the Chilean National Decontamination Plan and the new Presidential Plan.
  • The Ministry of Energy has created a District Energy and Geothermal unit under the Sustainable Energy division to support and accelerate the implementation of district energy projects.
  • The Municipality of Temuco has committed to launch an international call for tender in 2018 to build one district energy project and improve air quality in their city.
  • 12 cities have (so far) joined the Initiative.
  • The Initiative has signed strategic partnership agreements with SOFOFA (Chilean Industry Federation), and INACAP (technical University and research institution).
  • A National District Energy Committee chaired by the Ministry of Energy and co-chaired by the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Housing has been created with support from UN Environment. The goal of this Committee is to provide overall guidance and strategic direction to the development of the district energy market in Chile and mobilize national stakeholders to support project implementation.
  • The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) has approved the US$2.1 million project concept “Accelerating Investment in Efficient and Renewable District Energy Systems in Chile,” prepared by the Initiative, the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Environment. The project concept has been included under GEF 7 program of work and the full project proposal is under development.

DES in the News

20 Dec 2018
Initiative Updates
GEF Council approves first work program of new funding cycle, includes District Energy in Cities
23 Nov 2018
Initiative Updates
Chilean Government signs collaboration agreement with SOFOFA and UN Environment to boost district energy in Chile
18 Oct 2018
Initiative Updates
District Energy lights up across Chile, applies for GEF
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