CRE Maintains Sluggish Approach to Renewable Energy Approvals
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CRE Maintains Sluggish Approach to Renewable Energy Approvals

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Karin Dilge By Karin Dilge | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Tue, 09/05/2023 - 02:49

In 2022, CRE issued a total of 12 permits to private companies for the construction or continuation of renewable energy projects, out of more than 7,887 permit requests received, confirmed a transparency request. However, the data outlined in CRE’s transparency report covers the period up to April of the current year, suggesting that no additional projects have received approval in the first four months of 2023.

In subsequent months, CRE's approval of additional renewable energy permits has been notably limited due to a sluggish processing rate, resulting in a backlog of over 7,887 pending generation requests. The most recently approved permit was awarded to Audi Mexico, which received authorization at the end of June 2022 to construct a 4.2MW solar farm aimed at powering its facility in Puebla state.

Of the total approved projects in 2022, 10 were photovoltaic parks and two were wind farms, most of which were anticipated to commence operations until 2025.  Apart from these projects, CRE has not granted any permits in this category during the first four months of 2023. 

Among the highlighted permits, the US$815 million solar park, Puerto Peñasco, located in Sonora state, is expected to play a pivotal role in the state’s larger US$48 billion development plan aimed at attracting sustainability-focused investments. This massive 1GW park project, spearheaded by the state-owned power utility CFE, will be constructed in four phases, with the first one commencing in February 2024.

Meanwhile, the two wind farms, granted to Solairedirect Participations and Parques Renovables de México have already broken ground. The French firm Solairedirect Participations is working on a US$141 million, 94MW project in San Luis. Meanwhile, Parques Renovables de México will be working on a smaller, US$75 million, 50MW project led by director Luis Eduardo Corral Andujo. 

The remaining projects consist of eight 30MW solar projects, totaling an investment of US$45 million. These projects are all situated in the state of Chihuahua, with one owned by the Spanish firm X-Elio Energy, two by Mexico's Grupo Trimex and four by Spain's Codere México.

Permits were also granted to the Cajeme local government in Sonora, which is investing US$15 million in a 10MW solar project, and to Mexico City, where plans are in motion to invest US$12 billion in the construction of a 16MW solar park.

Regarding petroleum products, CRE only approved 13 permits out of more than 7,000 requests in its first session of August. The session resulted in approvals for six permits for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and seven for natural gas. According to figures from regulators, CRE has amassed over 7,000 pending authorizations for the electricity and hydrocarbons sectors and this number continues to rise each month.

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