Santiago is the capital of Chile. It is a fine modern city with some very interesting architecture and a splendid pace of life which I have found very comfortable. Santiago, like the rest of Chile, suffers from high energy prices, a lack of energy independence and in the case of Santiago atmospheric pollution caused by energy use.
Like most cities that have grown to serve as capital of a nation, it is located in a place where there was a good climate and plenty of water. It is also ideally situated to serve as a communications centre for Chile, a long thin country bounded by the Andes in the East and the Pacific Ocean in the West. When they founded Santiago there was no use of central heating by fossil fuel and no motor cars, so the founders could not foresee that as the city grew and as the modern inventions powered by fossil fuel took hold, the location of Santiago – surrounded by mountains and hills, would give rise to thermal inversion, which would today trap the pollution and emissions of six million souls like a blanket above the city.
Most people would automatically think of the polluted climate of Santiago as being caused by motor cars, but in fact a very large proportion of the emissions – possibly the lion’s share, is caused by fossil fuel burning for heat and for hot water. Much of the fossil fuel burnt these days is liquid petroleum gas, although in the past oil and diesel has been burnt to provide fuel for heat for homes and industry and commerce.
A great deal of this pollution can be avoided and the atmospheric conditions can be significantly improved by the use of thermal solar products. Santiago has good light levels that can power well designed solar systems with high proportions of heat energy. Of course, as with all renewable, back up is still required. This is a fact that users of all types of renewable energy will come to understand as renewable energy becomes more common.
In environmental terms there is no doubt that it is better to use 70% of your water heating energy from free benign light and 30% from fossil fuel, than to use 100% from fossil fuel. If cities across the world decided that they would not burn fuel to heat water when there was light availability both pollution and emissions would be substantially reduced.
You do not have to decide whether you believe in manmade climate change to understand that atmospheric pollution – always caused by fossil fuel burning is unhealthy and dirty and ought to be avoided where possible. This pollution was once thought to be part of the inevitable cost of economic progress; we now know that it can and must be avoided if the populations of major cities, like Santiago, Mexico City, Los Angeles and London, are to avoid the illnesses that atmospheric pollution delivers deep into our lungs.
On 21st July 2009 I was very proud that Genersys launched its products in Santiago, through Genersys Sud America. The launch was at the residence of HM Ambassador to the Republic of Chile, Mr Howard Drake. The Ambassador kindly allowed us to use his front garden to display our panels and we recreated the Genersys picture of a Range Rover on a panel to show the panel’s intrinsic strength, as you can see.
The staff of Genersys Sud America and of HM Embassy to Chile worked very hard to make the launch of Genersys solar products in Chile a great success and for that I would like to thank them.
Filed under: carbon dioxide, carbon emissions, climate change, Climate Change and health, energy, fuel, heat, pollution, solar, solar energy, solar panels Tagged: | atmospheric polution, Chile, genersys launch, range rover on solar panel, santiago, soalr water heating