Mexico races to liberalise energy market before deadline

MEXICO: Mexico's pro-renewables government has until the end of April to hammer out all the reform regulations aimed at liberalising the energy market.

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The pressing deadline was among the many challenges cited by government officials and local sector parties yesterday on the second and final day of Mexico WindPower 2014.

At the same time, Mexico has plans to develop more than 10GW by 2022. 

"Attention now centres on parliament," said Ramón Fiestas, chair of the Global Wind Energy Council's (GWEC) Latin American section.

MPs will vote on the wide range of specific government regulations fleshing out December 2013's liberalisation reform, ending a 75-year state monopoly on oil, gas and electricity.

In order to do that, new independent bodies such as a transmission system ooperator, regulator and electricity market operator must be set up with "strong legal integrity, management and technical autonomy and economic self sufficiency", said energy minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell.

Given the international precedent of the Spanish government's retroactive removal of subsidies to existing wind producers, it is "vital to uphold the legal investment security for the existing investment in the nearly 2GW of wind already online" in Mexico, said Fiestas.

The challenges barely tempered the high expectation of an imminent Mexican wind boom among the conference and exhibition's 2,855 delegates — tellingly nearly 37% up on last year's attendance figures.

The Mexican government has set clear targets for the sector to install around 2GW a year for the next decade," said Steve Sawyer, GWEC secretary general: "With any luck, Mexico will be one of the major wind markets globally going forward."

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