AMLO’s government goes after renewable energy companies in Mexico

New rules against renewable energies violate even the right to clean air of Mexicans, at a time when Covid-19 requires attention to the care of the respiratory system.

MEXICO (El Economista) – The Mexican Association of Wind Energy (AMDEE) said that the new rules supposedly emerging, although without temporality, for the dispatch of fossil energy over renewables do not have an economic logic. Do not promote competition or comply with existing legislation, but open space for pollutants, which violate the right to clean air at a time when it should be privileged to care for the respiratory system of the Mexicans, in addition to discriminating, because they already started the warnings for generators of the isthmus to stop offering energy to the network.

Julio Valle, AMDEE’s deputy director, told El Economista that for the past two days several wind energy companies in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, on the one hand, and other large photovoltaic companies operating in various entities, have been asked not to offer energy to the system or to reduce their offer because they will not be accepted by the National Energy Control Center (Cenace).

“It is illegal and discriminatory behavior that ties the hands of even the system manager himself, Cenace, which in times of potential emergency should have all the technologies available at all times,” he said. The only fault attributable to the wind and photovoltaic sources is what they call intermittence, which is the variability of the energy available at different times of the resource, and that in a system where many technologies coexist allows them to complement each other all the time, which creates a matrix resilient to any external impact.

“The fact that they cannot be connected is a failure that is rather attributed to the lack of investment in the transmission network, which means that energy does not flow redundantly throughout the country due to a lack of attention to this issue,” the expert said.

It should be remembered that medium voltage rates from now on have had a transmission charge and a distribution charge for many years, so it can be considered that the resources have not been used for these purposes, but other expenses of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and the federal government.

Use of fuel oil
The business representative explained that the Agreement to Guarantee the Efficiency, Quality, Reliability, Continuity and Safety of the National Electrical System, on the occasion of the recognition of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (Covid-19) disease epidemic, published on April 29 by Cenace, privileges the generation of faster starting must run plants because they burn fuels, such as the CFE’s conventional fuel-based thermoelectric plants, and also suspends the granting of licenses for pre-operational testing of photovoltaic and wind plants, can only be attributed to the government’s logic that the CFE displaces any competitor, regardless of the costs this entails for its customers, to whom the higher price should be transferred due to the use of more expensive technologies, but there is also the need for Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) to get rid of the residual fuel oil from refining that uses some storage tanks where crude oil or automotive fuels could be introduced, a necessary strategy in times of low prices like the present.

What the agreement stipulates is a matter of protection that may also be based on the fact that Cenace took powers that do not correspond to them. The power of the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE), in the next two weeks, will begin to arrive throughout the country, and not only by the wind and photovoltaic companies that were about to start operations will be forced to reduce their dispatch, but by all the private generators in the country, because, in a system where their supply is discriminated against in favor of that of the CFE, their rights stipulated in the signing of the interconnection contracts they already have with the State are being violated.

“What we are looking for is that they cancel the measure as it stands. We believe that Cenace has all the faculties to operate in emergency conditions; in fact, it does. You cannot use the pretext of contingency to damage the participants in the renewable sector so seriously,” said Julio Valle.

Finally, the companies will turn to the CRE to obtain a technical justification from the regulator, who are the experts on the subject, and since Cenace, which should legally limit itself to managing the network, usurped its powers. 

The Federal Commission for Economic Competition (Cofece) because the measure adopted by the government is, in evident detriment to the current legal framework of the renewable energy sector.  



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