Mexico stops the energy transition

was at the end of March, when Mexico is already in quarantine, traveled President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador to Oaxaca. He left his car and caravan in front o

Mexico stops the energy transition

was at the end of March, when Mexico is already in quarantine, traveled President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador to Oaxaca. He left his car and caravan in front of bald stop hills, on whose summits the white turbines of a wind power plant graced. "These wind turbines blight the landscape," he said into the camera. "They produce only a little energy and belong to private companies, which are subsidised for it. One of the typical fraud of the neo-liberal." That was broom neither populist Slogans, nor ignorance, but part of a Plan that has now been revealed - and the investors and environmentalists angered in equal measure.

The published guidelines of the Department of energy's ban on the grounds of alleged "instability in the network" until further notice new connections of plants generating renewable energies. It is already the third regulatory intervention in the electricity market, since the energy reform of 2013, private providers competing with the state company CFE. At the time of the Expansion of renewable energies has been outsourced to private providers. The regulator CENACE set the technical framework and was obliged to give the most efficient providers in the feeding preference. This ensured the Renewable acceptance.

thanks to the Reform, the emerging country was able to meet its growing demand for energy in compliance with the Paris climate protection agreement. Today, 24 percent of electricity produced come from renewable sources, the annual growth rate was 4.5 percent. The but comes at the cost of the thermal power plants operated by the CFE with the sulfur-containing heavy oil to the highly indebted state-owned company PEMEX. The rescue of PEMEX, and greater government regulation are strategic goals of the President. The toxic heavy fuel oil has so far been used primarily in shipping, has been banned for this year, but international. "The private companies have ripped the energy sector under the nail and against PEMEX and the CFE plotting," the reading of López Obrador.

Delayed approval process

mainly Spanish, but also German investors came after the energy reform to Mexico. So, the Potsdam company Notus. Since 2014, Notus planned five Solar and wind power plants. One of them - a wind power plant with more than 200 megawatts in the Northern state of Coahuila - is still at an early stage, their future is in the stars. "The approval process is delayed for a year," complains Notus-Director Alejandro Cobos in an interview with DW. He is not alone. Since the change of government in December 2018, many investors complain about the delaying tactics of the regulator CENACE.

The new policy could mean the death knell for the renewable energies. In protest letters to the embassies of Canada and the European Union, the talk is of 44 on-going projects in the value of 6.8 billion dollars. For consumers, the return to fossil energy carriers according to the assessment of consumers mean higher prices. For investors, the attractiveness of the location in Mexico is reduced by the legal uncertainty.

the change of direction with a lower energy demand due to the Corona-crisis technical issues is Justified. The power grid is outdated, in fact. The modernization of the lines is the task of the state electricity utility CFE, has failed to do this simply. The justification COVID-19 Anaid Velasco from the centre for environmental law (CEMDA) for more cynical. "The Virus makes a clean air is more necessary than ever, and the government responds with the Expansion of the dirtiest of all fossil fuels," she says via video chat.

violation of their own laws?

For Pablo Ramírez, a climate specialist at Greenpeace Mexico, the country not only by international commitments such as the Paris climate agreement, but also from their own laws, which provide up to 2024, with a share of 35 percent of electricity production from renewable energy sources.

Although not Renewable, everything ideal, the activists. So the original idea of a decentralized power generation had been quickly replaced by mega-projects, which sometimes protests of local communities. "But that does not justify materials, the return to fossil fuels," says Ramírez. While private investors now want to pull in front of arbitration courts, to consider the activists of the strategic actions before national and international courts. For Cobos, the child is fallen in the fountain: "Even if the policy is cashed out before the court or withdrawn, the loss of confidence of investors."

*The post "Mexico stops the energy transition" published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 21 May 2020, 23:26

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