We recently posted a brief review of some of the key reforms already implemented or proposed under the administration of recently elected Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. The most highly anticipated, controversial and sure to be hotly disputed of these initiatives, the president’s energy reform proposal, was finally presented to Congress on August 12. In the long run-up to the presentation of the official proposal, the conservative opposition National Action Party (PAN) presented its own energy reform program, and the leftist opposition Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) presented its alternative proposal shortly after the government made its presentation to Congress. Continue reading Mexico energy reform proposal brings high hopes and some skepticism
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). Continue reading Mexico pouring on the green energy initiatives
Mexico’s progress in making greater use of renewable energy sources has long been shackled by regulatory restrictions on independent energy generation by private enterprises and citizens. This, of course, has much to do with the histrionics of political sectors that oppose energy reform for reasons wholly unrelated to energy, but that’s another topic. It’s a fundamental problem of, as we say in Mexico, “ni picha, ni cacha, ni deja batear.” The resources of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) are far too stretched to finance a wide range of innovative alternative generation projects, particularly at the micro level, but regulation has largely prevented anyone else from generating electricity, even for their own consumption. Some furtive steps toward modernization of the regulatory framework fortunately have been taken in recent years. One such step, introduced almost surreptitiously in 2007, was the Interconnection Contract for Small-Scale Solar Energy Sources, which permitted private generation of up to 10kw for residential use and 30kw for general low tension use. Although the practical impact of this regulatory innovation was virtually nonexistent, it is significant nonetheless in that it represents Mexico’s first toe-dip in the waters of net metering for private electricity generation. Now, however, the government has taken another important step forward toward clearing the way for wider use of net metering for private electricity generation. Continue reading Great leap forward near for net metering?