Mexico Awards Contracts to Secure Renewable Energy

09/29/2016 The Wall Street Journal 

eneryMEXICO CITY—Mexico’s opening of its electricity market after decades of state control is driving fierce competition among suppliers of clean energy and pushing prices down, as renewable energies gain traction across Latin America.

Mexico’s government, following the launch this year of a wholesale electricity market under an independent system operator, this year held its first auctions in which companies made bids to sell renewable energy under long-term contracts to state-owned utility Comisión Federal de Electricidad, or CFE, starting in 2018.

Read More… 

Mexico’s Wind Farms Brought Prosperity, but Not for Everyone

07/26/16 The New York Times 

energy -wind_energyLA VENTOSA, Mexico — At night, Juan Piñeda López hears the hum of a wind turbine that churns 300 yards away from his adobe house. Sometimes he catches the stench of lubricant that spews down the turbine’s mast.

Beyond that, Mr. Piñeda said, the forest of turbines that has sprung up on the plains here in the southern state of Oaxaca in recent years barely affects him.

And that is the problem.

Read more…

New Publication | Enticed By the Wind: A Case Study in the Social and Historical Context of Wind Energy Development in Southern Mexico

By Stephanie Friede

enticed by the windWind energy is closely related to a myriad number of pressing social, political, and economic concerns. “Mexico has already set ambitious targets for renewable energy, stipulating that green power must make up 35 percent of the country’s generation by 2026,” reported The Financial Times in late 2014. However, it was only in 2009 that the industry itself began to pick up speed. As one report explained that year, “After years of spinning wheels, renewables in Mexico are ready to forge ahead.” Former President Felipe Calderón, two years into his six-year term, positioned his own political legacy firmly alongside the future of renewable energy. While prior to 2006, the renewable energy industry was at a standstill “aside from large hydropower construction,” it was with the backing of Calderón that the industry really picked up steam. Impediments to growth included the “federal power utility” the Comisión Federal de Electricidad which translates as the Federal Electricity Commission (hereafter will be referenced by its Spanish acronym CFE) which “seemed less than interested in competition from independent power producers, such as wind farms,” as well as a “renewable energy law” that “lingered in the national assembly for more than three years…leaving the country without a comprehensive legal framework to encourage renewables investment.”

Today, wind energy technology has evolved. The Mexican wind energy sector is expanding with parks popping up across the country. While many see the growth of wind energy as the inevitable next step in a progressive approach to green economic development, it will only succeed if and when the social and the natural landscapes of new projects are considered in concert. This paper is a case study in the social and historical context of wind energy development in southern Mexico. The paper argues that wind energy on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec has produced far more than mere electricity. Like other kinds of large-scale energy or infrastructure projects, the arrival of wind turbines also brings worldviews into conversation. Windenergy projects and developers identify nature as a resource for human use while many residents of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec see their windy world through quite a different lens. While difficult to pin-down, istmeños have engaged with the land in productive partnership that carries with both their history and spiritual qualities. In order to dispel current tensions and rectify mistakes made in the path forward, a critical rethinking of this kind of sustainable development is urgently needed.

Read the publication…

Gamesa Awarded 130 MW Mexico Turnkey Wind Farm

12/14/2015 Clean Technica 

Spanish wienergy -wind_energynd turbine manufacturer Gamesa has been awarded a contract to build a 130 MW wind farm in Mexico.

The project is being built under a turnkey arrangement — allowing it to be sold on as a completed project upon completion. Gamesa was contracted to deliver 65 of its G114-2.0 MW wind turbines to developers Mexico Power Group and First Reserve for the construction of La Bufa, set to be located in the Mexican state of Zacatecas, in Central Mexico.

Gamesa is set to deliver the turbines and commission construction within 2016, and will also provide operation and maintenance services over a long-term span of the wind farm’s operation. Upon completion of the project, the electricity generated by the wind farm will be supplied exclusively to Volkswagen’s factories in the nearby cities of Puebla and Silao.

According to Gamesa’s press release announcing the award of the contract, the company has installed over 1,700 MW in Mexico as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), and another 700 MW as its own wind farm developer — with a sizable pipeline to boot. These stats place Gamesa as the number one OEM in the market, and has led to the company announcing that it will build a wind tower factory in the state of Tamaulipas in a joint venture through Windar Renovables with the Daniel Alonso Group.

Read more…


Solar leads green energy growth in Mexico

10/26/2015 The Globe and Mail

Innovation2With its long history as a petroleum producer, Mexico might not be the first place people think of when it comes to cleantech and renewables.

Yet over the past few years the country has become a magnet for companies in the sustainable energy sector, companies as interested in its solar, wind and geothermal resources as its oil and gas. And with recent changes to laws governing power generation, experts say, that interest will only increase.

“There has definitely been exponential growth in the sector,” said Luis Aguirre Torres, chief executive officer of the Mexico City-based consultancy GreenMomentum Inc. The biggest has been in solar energy, he added, which has experienced triple-digit growth rates, but the development of wind, biomass and geothermal projects are also on the increase.

Behind that growth spurt is the constitutional amendment voted on by the Mexican congress in December of 2013. While the opening it gave to private companies in the oil and gas sector has garnered the lion’s share of attention, subsequent laws have also focused on electricity generation.

Read more… 

Energy Reform: will Mexico’s newest revolution boost renewables – or just fossil fuels?

6/3/15 The Guardian

For the first time since 1energy - oil pumps938, the world’s largest oil companies are preparing to invest in Mexico. The last time they were there, things ended badly: President Lázaro Cárdenas seized their assets, created state-owned oil monopoly Petróleos Mexicanos – or Pemex – and sent foreign competitors packing.

Now, 77 years later, Mexico is inviting them back. As part of its far-reaching hydrocarbon and electricity reforms, the country is reopening its largely untapped oil and natural gas reserves to foreign investors and competitors. The process will begin in earnest in mid-July with an initial auction of 14 oil exploration areas in the Gulf of Mexico.

Read more…

New Publication: Renewable Energy in Mexico’s Northern Border Region

Renewable EnergyHeavy reliance on fossil fuels is a common theme across the Mexican Northern Border States with the notable exception of Baja California (which gets over 30% of its public service electricity from the Cerro Prieto geothermal plant). Despite abundant wind, solar and bioenergy resources, Northern Mexico has yet to fully embrace the energytransition, but this could rapidly change in the next few years.

Mexico’s recent Energy Reform, which included modifications to the Constitution in December 2013 and a comprehensive package of implementing legislation on August of 2014, represents a fundamental transformation of the sector. For renewable energy, the major opportunities are related to the creation of a new electricity market and the introduction of Clean Energy Certificates. In the new market, the National Center for Electricity Control
and Dispatch (CENACE) will be fully independent of Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), thus allowing for a more transparent wholesale electricity market in which users above a set consumption threshold will be allowed to freely switch between generators. Mexico has already committed to produce 35% of its electricity from clean sources by 2024.

This publication “Renewable Energy in Mexico’s Northern Border Region” analyzes the current renewable energy situation in the north of the country, discusses potential resources that could be used for electricity generation from renewable sources, and provides policy recommendations to increase the use of renewables in the energy sector and to achieve long-term energy sustainability.

Download the publication here.