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Analysis

Absence of Law in Energy Transition

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 11:45

Mexico’s shift toward a low-carbon economy will depend on several policies and laws that will set the standard for the country. One of these instruments is the Law of the Energy Transition, which includes clauses related to energy efficiency and the goals and timeframes of incorporating clean energies in the matrix. This law will give the Ministry of Energy’s clean energy objectives a legal format, strengthening CONUEE’s authority, and providing dispositions for the financing of various energy efficiency projects. It also describes regulatory benefits and guidelines for the use of decentralized systems, and even contemplates the possibility of having the Ministry of Finance fund some distributed energy and smart grid projects. César Hernández Ochoa, Undersecretary of Electricity at the Ministry of Energy, says this law incorporates some of the best practices in energy efficiency and energy transition seen in other countries, thus it will be a valuable contribution to the legal framework.

The fact that this law was not passed during the Senate’s ordinary sessions has sparked the anger of many activists, environmentalists, and journalists who believe this is the key instrument in Mexico’s energy transition. The Ministry of Energy’s Undersecretary of Planning and Energy Transition, Leonardo Beltrán, claims the matter will be addressed in the legislative term that will begin in the last quarter of 2015. “Of course we are interested in having this legislation passed because it will provide the tools to transition into a low carbon economy. Nonetheless, we preferred to establish strong and robust foundations for the market rather than speeding up the energy transition. We opted for an open market, so we had to focus on developing clear rules.” Hernández Ochoa is not concerned with the absence of a law regulating the energy transition because renewables have already been given the necessary tools to thrive in the Law of the Electricity Industry: CELs. “The Law of the Energy Transition contributes to the development of renewables, but it is not the principal instrument in the progression of clean energies. As for energy efficiency, LASE and LAERFTE will provide solid precedent for this area for the duration of their validity,” he asserts.