A Mexico City District court last week accepted requests by environmentalists to suspend implementation of a regulatory change that would allow up to 10% ethanol in automotive gasoline in Mexico. As Mexico Business Blog reported in July and August, Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) published modifications to the country’s fuel quality standard, NOM-016-CRE-2016, in June permitting the increase in ethanol content. Environmental groups oppose the change arguing it will worsen air quality, and other groups with vested interests also raised objections. Last week’s granting of an injunction suspending the rule change for the moment reverts the NOM back to its previous language permitting up to 5.8% ethanol content, although ethanol-mixed gasoline is not currently sold in Mexican gas stations. In the wake of the latest injunction, both the CRE and its adversaries on the topic have a number of legal maneuvers open to them but local analysts are opining that the issue will remain tied up in the courts at least until next year.
It’s hard to imagine that nearly seven years have passed since we published our last post on net metering in Mexico, but maybe it shouldn’t be surprising considering how painstaking and fraught with challenges the move toward energy market liberalization has been. For generations, production and sale of electricity in Mexico was reserved for the state and carried out principally by the public enterprise Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). The current administration’s 2014 energy sector reform, however, sought to modernize energy markets across various sectors such as oil, gas and electricity. In the electricity market, the proposed changes include not only permitting private companies to generate and sell electricity, but to permit and incentivize distributed generation by independent small-scale producers. Now, regulatory changes published over the past two months appear to mark an important step forward toward the development of a smart grid and distributed generation. Continue reading New electricity rules to bolster solar market