Mexican energy regulatory authority CRE continues to deny renewable generation permits to private companies. Meanwhile, CFE launched a new tender to further develop natural gas infrastructure in Baja California. Furthermore, the final financial report of CFE for 2021 shows the state-owned utility worst year in losses.
Ready for more? Here is the Week in Energy!
The Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) informed this Thursday that it denied permits to generate solar electric energy to six private projects: Akuwa Solar, Energía El Pilar, FRV Duna Solar, Kronos Solar Park Five, Mire-GMI Capital SPV5 and Parque Solar Las Lomas de Ocampo. Even though President López Obrador's energy reform initiative was discarded, CRE has maintained what appears to be a policy of denying electricity generation permits to private companies. As of March 10, 2022, more than 100 permit applications from the private sector are awaiting a resolution from the CRE. In contrast, the CRE did grant an electricity generation permit to CFE Generación III for its 10 MW Amata hydroelectric plant in Sinaloa.
CFE has launched a tender for natural gas transport infrastructure in Baja California. The project will start at either at the Sásabe-Guaymas pipeline in Caborca, Sonora or at the SoCal-Ehrenberg interconnection on the El Paso Natural Gas pipeline in Ehrenberg, Arizona. It will then be directed to gas-fired power plants in the Mexican state. Baja California is isolated from the national grid and sees some of the highest energy rates in the country. To bring in more natural gas, CFE started tendering additional infrastructure.
Verificado.MX, an agency dedicated to the verification of information and the fight against fake news, denied President López Obrador claim that Mexico is among the world’s Top 10 biggest clean energy power producers. Data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) does not include Mexico in its Top 10 for either nations with the largest installed renewable production capacity or highest amount of clean electricity generation. In addition, Enerdata, in its Statistical Yearbook, states that Mexico is ranked 23rd when it comes to clean power production. Its Top 10 consists of Norway, Brazil, New Zealand, Sweden, Canada, Colombia, Venezuela, Portugal, Chile and Germany.
CFE reported a net loss of MX$106.2 billion (US$5.24 billion) at the end of 2021, the biggest financial loss in its history, which was 24 percent higher than in 2020 and MX$10.889 billion (US$537.66 billion) higher than the annual non-audited loss published in Feb. 2022. At the end of 2021, CFE's operating costs stood at MX$602.1 billion (US$29.74 billion), which entailed an increase of 24.4 percent compared to the same period of 2020. The increase was the result of inflated gas prices on the back of extreme weather in Texas and the recent rise in fuel prices. Meanwhile, CFE's accumulated 2021 revenue amounted to MX$566.6 billion (US$28 billion), 12.7 percent higher than in 2020.
In line with its energy policy proposals, the presidency of the National Action Party (PAN) announced the installation of PV solar panels at its headquarters. During the announcement, Marko Cortés, National Leader, PAN announced the party’s clean power production proposal. The initiative includes the creation of the Electricity Independence For Your Home program, which would install the latest generation of solar panels at the homes of Mexican families free of charge, prioritizing the poorest households in the country.
Members of an Indigenous Zapotec community from Unión Hidalgo, Oaxaca have urged state utility CFE to terminate a contract with EDF Renewables and to halt the construction of the Gunaa Sicarú wind farm, which they claim is illegally under development on ancestral communal land. This marks the seventh consecutive year of an ongoing battle between the community and EDF, as the company emphasizes it keeps community interests as a top priority.