Hugh Rudnick, Professor Emeritus
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
The Challenges of Electricity Supply in Chile
Chile, a fast developing country in South America, is experiencing serious difficulties in the expansion of its generation infrastructure, mainly because of social and political problems, rather than technical or economical ones. Chilean society has not reached a consensus on which should be the electricity matrix of the future, in a country that is more than 75% dependent of foreign supply of its primary energy. Polarized positions have developed of those than want to continue using the country´s significant hydroelectric resources, coupled to thermoelectric generation (based on imported coal or LNG) and those that want to only grow through efficiency and non-conventional renewable generation (all renewables energies, except large hydro). Universities are being challenged to work in this environment, with researchers in the energy area often being requested to contribute to public policy discussions.
The presentation will refer to the state of affairs of electricity supply in Chile and the composition and development of energy research in Chilean universities. Several individual research thesis directed by Prof. Rudnick will be described.
Hugh Rudnick is Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Engineering at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. He lectures at the undergraduate and postgraduate level and develops research activities in the power engineering area, in close relation with the electric power industry. His research activities and publications focus in the market and economic aspects of the electrical power sector and other power-engineering subjects, with more than three hundred articles in indexed publications and international technical conferences. He is a 2000 Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) "For contributions to electric power sector deregulation in Latin America". The Chilean Committee of CIGRE (International Council on Large Electric Systems) honored him with the “Prize to the outstanding academic” in 2006, and the IEEE in conjunction with AIE (Chilean Electric and Electronic Industry Association) gave him the “2009 Outstanding Engineer Award”. He was awarded the 2012 IEEE Haraden Pratt Award “For leadership in making IEEE a truly global organization”. Dr. Rudnick has contributed, as researcher and consultant, to the deregulation processes of the Latin America electrical and gas sectors, mainly in transport and distribution regulation and tariffs, and organization of the generation wholesale market. Dr. Rudnick has contributed extensively to the development of energy public policy in Chile and Latin America, based on his research and professional experience. He is often requested by the Chilean government to provide his technical support to initiatives being assessed. On 2011 he was asked by the President and the Minister of Energy to form part of an advisory committee that proposed recommendations for the development of the national electrical system, in a sustainable, competitive, diversified and secure manner. Dr. Rudnick leads a consulting company, SYSTEP Engineering and Design, which he created in Chile in 1989, highly specialized in the field of technical and economic studies of the energy sector. He has covered consulting work in the following areas of the energy (electricity and gas) sector, both through SYSTEP and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: restructuring policies and bylaws, planning policies, power sector investment (generation, transmission and distribution), technical development, generation expansion, renewable assessment, transmission planning, reliability, information systems, operation of electrical systems, electricity costs and tariffs, gas investment and tariffs, development of the regulatory market, wholesale contracts, transmission open access, telecommunications regulation, etc. He has done consulting with companies and governments in Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Central America, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, England, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Spain, Tasmania, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela, as well as with the UNDP, UNCTAD and the World Bank. His contributions have served as reference for deregulation processes taking place in other parts of the world. Rudnick is a Civil Electrical Engineer from Universidad de Chile and Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy from The Victoria University of Manchester, Great Britain.
Invited by Professor Claudio Canizares