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
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?