More blackouts are coming for Mexico, another trademark of the 4T

The 4T knew about the gas and electricity crisis, but did nothing. Photo: (Proceso)

The cause is terrible management of the CFE in terms of maintenance and investment in generation.

By Carlos Loret de Mola

MEXICO, CITY, (May 19, 2021).- In the Acapulco municipality of Guerrero State, restaurants have to decide between turning on the air conditioning for customers or turning on the kitchen appliances. In Yucatàn, entire colonies and municipalities get used to being without electricity for hours even days. The 2021 blackout season has formally started. Examples abound.

Euphemistically, the communications of “Operating Conditions” of the National Center for Energy Control ( CENACE ) begin to flow indiscriminately. Is the official recognition that there is not energy electricity to consumers in the national system. Both in the southeast and the north of the country there is a great concern: the blackouts will continue. They anticipate the worst this summer. The effects are being felt from now on.

A paragraph of context. At certain times of the year and times of the day, the demand for electrical energy rises either due to increased use of air conditioning or refrigeration equipment or simply due to increases in the use of machines in the industry. If Mexico had more generation capacity, the system produces more energy, and voila, there is no problem. However, Mexico does not have that greater capacity, so that leaves a difficult dilemma: the switch is lowered or “the system falls”.

Let’s review the most recent events. Last week in one of the most industrial areas of the country, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, a blackout was registered due to a failure in the Moctezuma electrical substation. This not only affected industrial activity but there were effects on cell phones, water cuts, road chaos, and complaints from people because in the middle of the heat they could not turn on the air conditioning. A total disaster.

Another state that suffers the most from blackouts is Baja California Sur. In 2019 it had a crisis with 72 hours of failures and intermittences. This year there have already been at least three episodes and it is not yet summer. The hotel industry is scared.

In Yucatan things are not different: blackouts were reported in the first half of May; In 2021 there are five events when before there was no more than once a year. The red lights are in the Yucatan Peninsula. Today, the danger has spread.

On February 13th, the government reported interruptions of the service power to the unavailability and lack of supply of natural gas, causing the output of power generation plants and some elements of the National Network of Transmission in the north and northeast of the country. A couple of days later, service was restored, but the damage was done: according to business leaders, this event was economically more expensive than the pandemic itself. Imagine if this repeats itself.

It could go on by recounting the blackout episodes in different parts of the country and the expected effects. But the conclusion is the same: there is no electricity, and with it, the economy and the well-being of the population are affected.

The cause is terrible management of the CFE in terms of maintenance and investment in generation. That is why plants fail. In addition, the new energy policy implemented by the AMLO administration has slowed both the operation and investments in renewable energies. And while it is true that we have fuel oil to give and give away (literally), they cannot even do that well: they have not been able to properly burn that fuel that not even the ships want. If we continue on this foolish route, in the near future the blackouts will continue.

By Carlos Loret de Mola

Source: El Universal