On the heels of its recently concluded year-long presidency of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP16), Mexico is soldiering on with its sustainability policy blitz. In late November, the Federal Regulatory Improvement Commission (Cofemer) issued its approval of proposed new regulations under which independent entities generating power from renewable sources may connect to the national electricity grid. Last year, we reported with great satisfaction that the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) had created a contract that allowed independent producers of energy for their own consumption to connect to the grid via a net metering system. The new regulatory document, under the nimble title “General Rules of Interconnection to the National Electric System for Generators or Permit-holders with Renewable Energy Sources or Efficient Cogeneration,” is intended to streamline the process and lower the overall cost of grid integration for independent producers. The administrative, legal and technical requirements, formerly distributed among various prior documents published by different agencies, will now be incorporated into the single regulatory document. The Energy Ministry (Sener) may now publish the new regulations in the Official Gazette, with the hope that facilitating the process will hasten the contribution of new and more environmentally friendly generating plants to the country’s energy supply. If you feel you must, you can read the Cofemer’s final opinion on the new regulations here (oh go on, we did).
On another front, not content with the success of the incandescent-for-CFL light bulb exchange program we told you about a few weeks back, energy authorities have now hatched a new scheme to promote the use of LED lamps. Under a pilot program set to begin January 1, 2012 in the Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara metropolitan areas, residential electricity customers in good standing will be able to obtain LED lamps at subsidized prices. Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) customers will receive an eligibility notice on their electric bill that they can take to selected stores and present in exchange for an LED lighting product, which will be charged to their electric bill at a discounted rate. Sener is looking to popularize LED technology not only for its energy saving virtues but also with the hope of developing a domestic market appealing enough to attract investment to manufacture the lamps in Mexico.
In the throes of an energy saving frenzy, the federal government also announced last month the creation of a new multi-million dollar fund to assist businesses in replacing older and less energy efficient equipment. The program, called CFEfectvo, will provide technical evaluations of the energy efficiency of industrial operations and access to subsidized credit for the acquisition of current technology. Sener has set the lofty goal of achieving energy savings of 30% in the country’s industrial sector through full implementation of the program.
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