Over the past two years, the government of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has sought to strip away central aspects of the 2013 energy reform that increased private investment in the power sector and return control of the sector to state utility CFE. These moves will reduce needed investment in the sector and lead to higher electricity costs for Mexican industry and manufacturing, affecting employment, trade, and Mexico’s ability to meet its clean energy targets, according to this new report by the Inter-American Dialogue.
The recent oil price collapse, combined with the economic contraction resulting from measures to fight the global Covid-19 pandemic, will have extensive and largely unforetold impacts for Latin American energy markets and beyond. These implications include cuts to investment and delays to ongoing projects in both oil & gas and renewable energy, fiscal and broader economic constraints, and legal disputes, said panelists during a webinar held on April 1.
Until recently Mexico stood out within Latin America as a top potential producer of wind and solar energy, but policies under the López Obrador administration have made the climate for renewable energy investment increasingly hostile. Lisa Viscidi, director of the Energy Program, and Sarah Phillips, program assistant, sat down with Nathaniel Parish Flannery of Forbes to discuss what’s ahead for Mexico’s renewable resource sector.
Lisa Viscidi, Sarah Phillips, Nathaniel Parish Flannery
Long-term power supply auctions are an increasingly popular instrument worldwide for attracting renewable energy investment while cutting prices, increasing energy security, and reducing emissions. Latin America has been at the forefront of using auctions to boost renewable energy capacity. This study analyzes design and outcomes of government-led long-term power auctions with participation from non-conventional renewable sources in six countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, and Jamaica) since 2015.
Lisa Viscidi, Ariel Yépez-García
˙ Inter-American Development Bank
President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador can capitalize on Mexico’s enormous renewable energy potential and make Mexico a leader in the fight against climate change. Although his platform offers some promising proposals, he will have to maneuver through several major obstacles.
If the region increases renewables to 80% of the electricity matrix and expands integration, countries can save billions of dollars in investments, avoid blackouts and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, argue Lisa Viscidi and Ariel Yépez.
As Latin America moves towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fulfilling its Paris commitments, it must also work to meet rapidly growing electricity demand, which is projected to almost double by 2040.
In the wake of the COP21 global climate talks, governments must shift attention to how they will actually follow through on the commitments made in Paris. One concept is central to achieving that goal – innovation.