News Article

Energy Efficiency to Guarantee Supply

Wed, 02/20/2019 - 17:09

Mexico needs greater energy efficiency, according to the panelists who participated in the closing panel of the Mexico Energy Forum held at the Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel in Mexico City this Wednesday. “Energy efficiency guarantees energy security in the country since the distribution network is saturated, which makes it difficult to guarantee supply,” said Francis Pérez, Director General of RAMADASA.

According to Francisco Salazar, Founding Partner at Enix, in the year 2040 the energy demand will reach its peak, so it is necessary to start taking measures that anticipate the future. One of those processes, Pérez said, is the modernization and digitalization of processes. “It is necessary to analyze the energy demand of companies in a thorough way to know if we are using energy well. We need continuous improvement processes and expand digitization to achieve better results.” Pérez talked about the Nestlé case as an example: “Nestlé improved its production while its energy consumption decreased,” she said.

Simon Plata, Power Automation and Digitalization Advisor at Emerson, opted for the digitalization of processes to improve efficiency. “These processes help to make plants more efficient while allowing greater operational flexibility,” he said. He also emphasized the responsibility of both producers and off-takers. “When we talk about energy efficiency, we always see the issue from the consumer’s point of view, but the producer must also be subject to this efficiency. What we want is to achieve a minimum level of emissions for the same production rates.”

A model proposed during the panel is that used by Bimbo, one of the companies most committed to energy efficiency and that has created a mix of solar and wind energy. “It is not good to marry a single technology or scheme, since that way it is impossible to achieve a 100 percent energy consumption from renewable sources. We have to generate the right energy mix to reach our objectives,” said Irene Espinola, Director of Global Renewable Energy at Grupo Bimbo.

Ramón Basanta, CEO of ATCO Energía, asked for caution before the process of political transition that Mexico is going through, following international best practices. “In other countries the establishment of a mature electricity market takes between seven and 13 years” and Mexico has only just begun. “I think that we should not be alarmed so much, since it is normal that after a political change of these dimensions the legislation is revised. The objective, however, is that in the future supply and demand will set prices.”

For Alejandro Blanco-Moreno the ideal protocol would be that both the private sector and the public sector, in this case CFE, continue to grow hand in hand. He ventured that in Mexico it is likely that private investment in the energy system is greater than that of CFE if transmission and distribution are deducted from the equation. What is needed, in his opinion, is “certainty and a legal standard for investors to continue betting on Mexico.”