According to a new report on renewables by the Chilean national energy commission (CNE), figures show that Chile’s renewable energy plants generated 1,136 GWh of electricity in May which is equal to 17.7% of the nation’s total power production. Production levels decreased by 3.5% month-on-month, causing the renewables share to drop from 19% recorded in April. Total installed renewable energy capacity in the Chilean system reached 5,675 MW by the end of May, growing from 5,606 MW registered the month before. Renewables now account for 23.3% of Chile’s total installed capacity.
According to iConstruye, a digital platform linked to the Chilean Chamber of Construction, the number of new projects barely reaches 10 per month, versus the industry average of 50 per month before COVID-19. The data also shows that the start of new projects fell 86% in April in relation to the same month in 2019. Meanwhile, in May, the drop was even lower at 92%.
According to a report by the Association of Banks and Financial Institutions (ABIF), the number of clients connecting to online banking sites or apps reached more than 11 million in March, while the number of visits totaled 277 million sessions in the same month. Regarding the number of transactions carried out, the report indicates that, as of May, 55% of sales by credit card are associated with operations carried out over the internet; while ATM withdrawals decreased 54%, after less than 18 million were finalized last month.
According to the president of the National Confederation of Small Industry and Crafts of Chile (Conupia), Roberto Rojas, a high percentage of SMEs could be forced to go into bankruptcy due to the economic effects caused by the pandemic. Rojas projects that “up to 150,000 or 180,000 SMEs could disappear”. He predicts that commerce, tourism, gastronomy and live entertainment will be the most affected sectors.
Chile’s mining minister, Baldo Prokuric, projected a decline in Chile’s copper output of 200,000 tonnes due to the economic effects of the pandemic. Prokurica said the Cochilco copper commission’s projection, representing around 3.5% of Chile’s total 2019 production, was a best guess since the combined impact of the virus and economic fallout made it “very difficult” to predict with certainty.