Here in Mexico the big midterm elections coming up in June are absorbing a lot of attention right now, but before we talk about that we just wanted to make some comments on a topic currently flying a bit under the radar: Lithium mines. The issue is, prior administrations granted a number of concessions to foreign private companies for the exploration and eventual production of lithium in Mexico, and a small number of these companies have been out in the desert scratching around in hopes of finding a viable mining site. Two things make this more important to Mexico now than it may have seemed a few years ago: First, a massive lithium deposit in the northern state of Sonora is being developed by foreign capital with plans to begin commercial production within two years; and second, Mexico is currently governed by a president who views the private sector — and particularly foreign companies — to be exploiters, thieves and enemies of the nation. Continue reading AMLO to lithium: My precious!
We read in Morning Brew today that the International Energy Agency (IEA) is projecting that renewables will surpass coal as the primary source of energy generation by 2025. The Brew item actually says solar but the original Reuters story it links to says renewable sources. Either way, the growing importance of solar and other renewable energy sources combined with the tenuous outlook for fossil fuels continues to cast a dark shadow over President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s campaign to prop up Mexico’s insolvent state oil company, Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex). The entire world is innovating and expanding generation capacity in clean, renewable energy, and the Mexican government is out here trying to get people to use more diesel. Absolute face palm. Continue reading Mexico unmoved by this trendy clean energy thing
Mexico’s energy industry, long reserved exclusively for state-owned enterprises, began opening up to the private sector following a major reform under President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012 – 2018). During the current administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), however, changes are taking place that suggest a return toward government domination of the industry. AMLO has stated his desire to return state enterprises Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) to their former preeminent position in the oil and electricity industries, respectively, and the trends during the first year and a half of his administration appear to be toward shifting the focus of energy production back to fossil fuels and away from solar and wind. The following are examples of some of the changes taking place. Continue reading Mexican energy industry going back to the future under Lopez Obrador