Protecting Patagonia - Text I At the southernmost tip of South America, one of
the last untouched expanses of land on the planet is
now under threat of irreversible destruction.
Chile’s Patagonia is home to the snow-capped
Andes, dense temperate rainforests, lush valleys and
meadows, abundant marine and bird species and
traditional communities living a low-impact lifestyle.
All of these could be devastated if a proposed hydro-
electric complex called HidroAysén is constructed on
two of the last free-flowing rivers in the world. The
massive dams would:
• flood 14,000 acres of irreplaceable wildlife habitat
and ranching lands;
• require constructing a new 1,200 mile-long
transmission line that would potentially expose
and disrupt untouched wilderness in 17 national
parks and reserves, 26 wetlands and biodiversity
conservation sites, impact hundreds of private
• swell the populations of local towns without providing
adequate infrastructure and services to handle this
While big energy companies are lobbying for this
ill-conceived project, Chile’s vast renewable energy
resources remain untapped and its energy efficiency
opportunities unrealized. The Natural Resources
Defense Council is working with a coalition to stop the
HidroAysén complex and help Chile instead reach its
renewable energy and energy efficiency potential.
Chile has vast renewable energy resources and
energy efficiency opportunities and the potential to
become a world leader in clean energy technologies.
The Chilean government has signed numerous
renewable energy development initiatives with
the U.S. and other countries. A key part of these
agreements includes information-sharing, which
means that a decision to pursue renewable energy
in Chile would help advance alternative energy
programs in the U.S. and around the world as we
learn from groundbreaking new programs.
Chile has unparalleled potential for renewable
energy and energy efficiency. The country has an
abundance of untapped solar, wind and geothermal
energy sources, which could easily meet the country’s
future energy needs. All of these alternative solutions
are more sustainable, less destructive and more stable
than the large hydro-electric and coal power sources
that currently dominate Chile’s energy industry.
NRDC is working with a broad coalition of citizens,
community groups and national and international
NGOs to oppose the hydro dam project and push for
sustainable energy solutions. Available at: http://www.nrdc.org/international/patagonia/.
Retrieved on: Jan. 10th, 2014. Adapted.
The main purpose of Text I is to