Understanding Conditioning Factors for Hydroelectric Development in Chile: Bases for Community Acceptance

Cristian Escobar-Avaria, Rodrigo Fuster, Katherinne Silva-Urrutia, Carl Bauer, Andrés de la Fuente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chile has defined an energy development policy in which hydropower is an important part of the energy grid. This energy source has not yet been accepted by many people in local communities. For future hydroelectric development to be more widely accepted, the Chilean Ministry of Energy developed a methodological framework called Objects of Valuation. This framework is aimed at identifying the main community interests that may condition hydroelectric development. The objective of this paper is to analyze the scope of the framework based on a review of the scientific literature and information generated through participatory activities in three basins that have high hydropower potential. Analyzing the results obtained from the application of the framework, four complementary intangible factors not represented by the framework are identified: the lack of validation of a formal participatory process, under-recognition of different worldviews, distrust regarding the development of hydroelectricity, and a sense of self-determination in the community. These factors could potentially condition community acceptance of hydroelectricity, thereby limiting the framework as a decision-making tool. We recommend that this methodological framework should be complemented by the incorporation of intangible elements in the decision-making process, using a systematic tool applicable to spatial planning and strategic environmental-assessment processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15224
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • community acceptance
  • hydroelectric development
  • object of value
  • public acceptance
  • renewable energy development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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