As of April 2021, the Instituto Forestal (institution attached to the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture) conducted a study on the consumption of firewood and other solid biofuels in the urban and rural areas of the Aisén Region. This was part of the national system for monitoring the consumption of these fuels.
The study is carried out through surveys conducted in areas going from La Junta, in the northern part of the region, to Villa O’Higgins, in Southern Patagonia (including the cities of Coyhaique and Puerto Aysén). This is the first time that surveys on this subject are taken in such remote areas as Caleta Tortel, Lago Verde, Puerto Guadal, and Melinka, among others. Thus, the findings of this study will provide a much clearer and more accurate understanding about the consumption patterns of firewood and other energy sources in the Aysén Region.
“In some places, such as Chile Chico and Caleta Tortel, people are quite reluctant to new energy sources. This, in spite of claiming that they would like to have access to fuels such as pellet, and to have a more stable energy supply, since electricity is frequently cut off”, said Dr. René Reyes, researcher at INFOR. “People have been very nice and they immediately agree to talk. Needless to say, they have a good management of their households’ expenses and energy consumption”, added the researcher.
What is the purpose?
The aim is to have a new estimate on the consumption of firewood and other solid biofuels in the Aysén Region so as to update the available figures. Likewise, the consumption of liquefied gas, kerosene and electricity is being measured, as well as the use of other energy sources such as pellets, solar energy, wind energy, among others. All this will allow to analyze energy transition processes.
This information will be very useful for the development and implementation of public policies aimed at addressing the main challenges associated with firewood consumption (urban air pollution and degradation of native forests) and energy consumption in general. Additionally, it would help to face the main barriers to advance towards a sustainable energy transition.