The Chilean government’s energy policy and the power generation sector plans include wind, geothermal, hydro and biomass powerplants in order to introduce renewable energy systems to the country, but they do not mention solar energy to be a part of the plan. This apparent lack of interest in solar energy is partly due to the absence of a valid solar energy database, adequate for energy system planning activities. The only available solar radiation database is relatively old, with measurements taken in 89 stations from the 60’s onwards, obtained with high-uncertainty sensors such as Campbell-Stokes devices and pyranographs. Moreover, not all stations have measured incoming solar radiation for an adequate time span. Here, we compare the existing database of solar radiation in Chile with estimations made with satellite measurements, obtained from the GOES program through collaboration with the Brazilian space institution, INPE. Monthly mean solar energy maps are created from both data sources and compared, using Krigging methods for spatial interpolation. It is found that a maximum 30 percent deviation exist, with snow covers in the Andes Mountains adding additional uncertainty levels. The solar energy levels throughout the country can be considered as high, and it is thought that they are adequate for energy planning given proper diffusion and support by editing a Chilean Solar Atlas.

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