Folium: Sun to Keep Atacama Desert’s Grapes Growing via BBC

Folium: Sun to Keep Atacama Desert's Grapes Growing via Wikimedia Commons

Folium: Sun to Keep Atacama Desert’s Grapes Growing via Wikimedia Commons

Folium: Sun to Keep Atacama Desert’s Grapes Growing via BBC

Perhaps it is time to reconsider how we define the word resource.

Chile is a mining country, it has always been a mining country. More than 70% of Chile’s exports are copper and iron ore deposits that are pulled year after year from the Andes mountains. They have always relied on what they have been able to extract out of their land, and sell to others.

Except now, Chile has a problem. One that is shared by many countries around the world, including ours. The mines have grown deeper, but global demand is fast outpacing supply. Sooner or later the ore will run out and Chile will be left in the dust.

Have you ever seen the country of Chile on a world map? Geographically, the country comprises mainly of Pacific coastline, rugged mountains, and little in between. To the north lies the Atacama Desert, one of the driest deserts on the globe. And to the south lies the waterlogged Patagonia.

Atacama Solar via BBC

But instead of turning these extreme geographical features into liabilities, they are being converted into the country’s greatest resources. Once fueled by huge coal facilities, the Atacama Desert is now powered by the sun. And once thought too inhospitable to manage, the ebb and flow of the tides now power the Patagonia region.

Sticking to this goal could help Chile on its way to becoming the first developed nation in Latin America – after all, Chile has been its fastest-growing economy since 1990. – BBC

Chile has learned that their future lies in power generated by high-tech applications. And due to this realization, they also attract the largest energy investors in the world.

The scientists and engineers who are studying in the United States today will soon be needed all over the world. Solving the upcoming energy crisis will require efforts from every country around the globe, and the advantage will be given to those who are looking outside their borders for the talent needed to bring their goals to pass.

BBC News won’t let people link their video, but please visit their website for a great video of the Atacama solar arrays and how they tie into their vineyard irrigation systems!