Mexican Government Changes Renewable Energy Rules

By Rodrigo Cervantes
Published: Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 4:39pm
Updated: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 4:09pm
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Diego Arriola
La Ventosa in Juchitán, Mexico.

MEXICO CITY — The coronavirus pandemic gave the Mexican government an opportunity to push for some changes on the renewable energy market. And some fear this could bring higher rates, less investment and more state control.

In late April, Mexico’s government instructed new renewable energy plants to yield the production to the state-owned company, arguing that the pandemic requires new regulations.

Last Friday, the government ordered a stop to certain investments in renewable energy. This favors fossil fuels, a sector in which the current administration invests. 

"Not only the content of the regulations, but the way it was published — forced in the Official Gazette — is what gives us concerns,” said Diego Arriola, an independent energy consultant.

He says the measures will increase consumer prices and scare foreign investment, as the government ignores private operators.

“They’re taking centralized control over basically the market, and particularly intermittent renewables,” Arriola said.

A judge challenged April’s order as a violation to environmental and commercial rights, while companies say Friday’s order goes against the law.

“The northern states (of Mexico) have a lot of wind and obviously a lot of solar power, and there could be certain limitations in the future,” said the consultant.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The story has been updated to correct the spelling of Diego Arriola's name.

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