A Fireside Chat with Lourdes Melgar

Photo of Lourdes Melgar and Daniela Stevens Inter-American Dialogue

In anticipation of the Mexican election on June 2, the Dialogue hosted Lourdes Melgar; a prominent energy expert and former deputy secretary of energy for hydrocarbons in Mexico, to share her extensive insights on the energy landscape in the country. Her discussion centered on the future of Mexican energy policy and the expectations for the incoming administration, which will be Mexico’s first woman president.

Melgar began by providing an overview of the current energy landscape in Mexico. She highlighted the significant progress made in renewable energy development and the challenges facing the oil and gas sector. She emphasized the importance of balancing energy security, economic growth, and environmental sustainability. Following the stress the country has been living in for the past couple of months due to electricity outages, a state of emergency was declared as marginal reserves have gone under six percent productivity. 

The discussion delved into the ongoing transition towards renewable energy. Melgar underscored the potential of solar and wind energy in Mexico, given the country's geographical advantages, but was concerned over the lack of development in hydroelectric and geothermal energy. She discussed the need for policies that support investment in renewable energy infrastructure and foster innovation to drive down costs and improve efficiency. The importance of a stable and transparent regulatory framework to attract both domestic and international investments is key for these initiatives. As a result, she advocated for the continuation and enhancement of regulatory reforms initiated in recent years to ensure a competitive and efficient energy market. In her view, they would not only help modernize the transmission and distribution grids but also allow Mexico to capitalize on the near-shoring boom. 

The future role of Mexico's state-owned enterprises, Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) and Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), was a critical topic. Melgar highlighted the need for modernization and efficiency improvements within these entities. She suggested that the next administration should focus on strategic partnerships and technological advancements to revitalize PEMEX and CFE and reduce the amount of fuel being burned in most productions and operations.

This fireside chat with Lourdes Melgar provided valuable perspectives on the future of Mexican energy. Melgar’s insights highlighted the critical areas that need attention as well as the strategic steps the next administration should take to ensure energy security, economic growth, and environmental sustainability. The event concluded with a Q&A session, allowing participants to engage directly with Melgar and delve deeper into specific topics of interest.


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