Envisioning the Mexican Wind Power from a Global PerspectiveWed, 02/19/2014 - 11:23
Q: What did GL Garrad Hassan find attractive about the Mexican wind market?
A: Before establishing our Mexican office, most activities involving this country were done through our Spanish headquarters in Zaragoza. Our clients needed energy assessments, wind measurement campaigns and due diligence, among other services. This growing demand and the number of projects we had in Mexico made us realize that we needed to open a regional office to offer our clients better services and strengthen our local presence. Mexico is a good place for investment because the regulatory framework regarding wind energy is solid in comparison to countries like the US or Spain. The growing demand for energy and the local electricity costs make Mexico appealing for international players to invest. This is the reason we are actually seeing capital coming into the wind industry and related projects in Mexico, which is the second largest wind power market in Latin America. We share AMDEE’s expectation of installing between 1-1.5GW of new wind energy capacity per year until 2020. We are going to see high investment levels and we are certain that we can contribute to the growth of this market. We have the experts, the knowledge, and the international experience, as well as the local understanding to offer a portfolio of services for the developers, investors, lenders, and owners. We have all the necessary tools and we intend to stay in the very attractive Mexican market.
Q: Can you describe the role that the company aspires to play in its clients’ projects?
A: Although we have not participated in their recent wind energy resource studies, we have our own completed studies on around 1.5GW of installed capacity in Mexico. We focus on giving our clients technical and strategic advice, and share our best practices. We have learned what to do and what not to do, and we want to spare our clients from this somewhat painful process. This does not rule out the option of creating new solutions for new situations, which is at the core of providing expert consultancy advice. We have a very varied clientele: we cater to developers, NGOs, investors, and project owners. Our aim is to be a one-stop shop, and our services range from feasibility studies to decommissioning. We cover the full life cycle of a wind farm, including aspects such as turbine design or providing assessment on the strategy that any given company, government, or NGO should follow to reach its objectives in the renewable market. The industry has a lot of hard work to do to earn trust from lenders, investors, and developers. We are committed to making the industry trustworthy through the expertise we have gained by working around the world. People must feel assured that the technical aspects have been covered properly, step by step. When you have someone who knows what needs to be done, you can be certain that you are going in the right direction.
Q: What are your expectations for the development of the Mexican supply chain in the coming years?
A: It would be great to see a supply chain that grows alongside Mexico’s wind power capacity. If we have specific installed capacity objectives, investors will be able to see long-term and make decisions based on the expected future investments. This is related to the wind industry supply chain because investors would have certainty on developments to come. For instance, if we knew 1GW of wind energy capacity would be installed each year for the next seven years, we could then determine the amount of investment needed in order to accomplish this objective. This would in turn allow manufacturers from different parts of the supply chain to evaluate how profitable it is to invest in local manufacturing facilities and know if they would be able to sufficient sell parts in the Mexican market. Long term objectives bring investment, create jobs, and build a solid and reliable renewable energy market.
Q: Do you have any ambitions to get into other types of renewable energy in Mexico?
A: GL Garrad Hassan provides services for wind, solar, and tidal energy. So far, we have only been providing our services to the wind market in Mexico, but we are paying close attention to the development of the solar industry since we expect it to experience rapid growth in the near future. We are very keen to have our solar experts come to the country and provide assistance to the industry. Not much has happened in the wave and tidal sectors in Mexico but we also have a team of experts who would be happy to take part in any opportunity that arises.