MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Private renewable energy firms in Mexico should pay for part of the baseload power underpinning the flow of electricity on the grid, the head of the state power company said on Friday, as a dispute on the future of the local industry roils the market.
Manuel Bartlett, director of the Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) and staunch defender of the state, told Reuters he favors more clean energy and wants to reduce Mexico’s use of fuel oil as a major source of power generation.
But he said renewable operators had not been pulling their weight in contributing to the infrastructure that sustains them.
“Wind and photovoltaic (plants) don’t pay the CFE for the backup,” said Bartlett, referring to the cost of power generation from fossil fuels, mostly natural gas, to guarantee uninterrupted flow.
“Do you think it’s fair for the CFE to subsidize these companies that don’t produce power all day?” he asked.
The firms should also start helping to pay transmission costs, he said.
“That’s not a free market, it’s theft,” said Bartlett, a close ally of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has pledged to hold down electricity rates.
Renewable companies argue they can produce more efficiently than the CFE and help Mexico reduce its emissions.
Last month, Mexico’s power grid regulator CENACE issued a ruling supported by Bartlett that prevented several dozen new renewable energy plants from connecting to the network.
CENACE cited the coronavirus pandemic as a justification, arguing that intermittent wind and solar power is not consistent with ensuring constant electricity supply.
Business associations said the move put more than $6 billion in renewable power plants scheduled to begin operating this year or next in limbo.
In a provisional ruling this week, a judge ordered CENACE to back down and allow the renewable firms to continue for now with tests needed to bring plants online.
Bartlett, an 84-year-old former interior minister who has been a force in Mexican politics for decades, said he is not seeking to restore CFE’s decades-long monopoly that was ended by the previous government.
But he said Lopez Obrador has instructed him to ensure the CFE generates at least 54% of power output, its current level.
“I accept that there’s going to be private investment.”
Last Friday, the energy ministry moved aggressively to give the government more control over power supplies by seeking fast-tracked regulatory approval for a ruling designed to give the state more say over who can generate electricity and how much, again citing the pandemic as a rationale.
The move promoted the head of a government regulatory commission to abruptly resign.
Bartlett described the notion that the government is resisting more renewable energy as a “lie.”
“We are not troglodytes, we’re serious people,” he said, adding that he favors cleaner-burning natural gas.
Nevertheless, the government last year canceled a planned auction to purchase renewable energy via long-term contracts, another policy promoted by the last government.
It also sought to disincentivize a clean-energy certificate scheme, arguing it put the CFE at a disadvantage.
The Yucatan Times
more recommended stories
Contractors ‘Abandon’ Dos Bocas construction
MEXICO CITY (Reforma) – The American.
Lopez-Gatell warns of further confinement in October due to pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic will continue in.
Populist AMLO left embarrassed by failed attempt to raffle presidential plane
López Obrador decided that the raffle.
Fentanyl seizures in Mexico up 465%
Mexican authorities say seizures of the.
Climate Change Will “Thaw” New Viruses – Experts warn.
Experts warn that the warming of.
Texas demands Mexico to pay the water it owes them.
While AMLO denounces a “political boycott”.
U.S. Covid-19 death toll surpasses 200,000
A prediction made in March —.
Enrique Rebsamen School owner convicted in 2017 collapse
CDMX (September 19, 2020).- The owner.
Lucha libre wrestlers struggle to survive amid virus
Few of Mexico’s cultural traditions have.
Intellectuals demand that López Obrador not attack freedom of expression. He strikes back at them.
More than 650 intellectuals demanded that.