Mexican Photovoltaic Producer EmergesWed, 02/19/2014 - 15:12
ERDM Solar is not afraid of competition. This Mexican company from San Andrés Tuxtla, Veracruz, is the leading Mexican producer of photovoltaic modules, and is now venturing into other products and services. According to Alejandro Caballero Robles, Director General of ERDM Solar, “Mexico has great potential in terms of solar irradiation but the country is wasting its capacity.” Caballero Robles thinks the main problem is that there are not enough incentives for companies to develop solar projects that could help address the CFE’s energy shortages and satisfy the energy demand of the country. “There has to be a commitment from the government,” Caballero Robles says. “There has to be a link between the private sector and the government in order to meet Mexico’s future electricity demand. Another element that prevents the full growth of the solar industry in Mexico is a lack of knowledge among the general population and the business community. Solar energy is thought to be expensive or inefficient and this misunderstanding needs to be tackled.” As a result of this lack of general knowledge, companies often focus on equipment costs rather than on the long-term benefits.
To compete in the new emerging solar market, ERDM Solar relies on its principles, along with its competitive prices, and what it calls “the alma mater” of its essence: top-of-the-line German technology. “This is crucial for the development of ERDM Solar. German companies were the first in the market and have maintained their leading position over time,” Caballero Robles emphasizes. ERDM Solar brings together German technology with the talent of Mexican engineers and workforce,” explains Robles.
Although its main focus is the development of solar panels, ERDM Solar also offers other products and services. One product that ERDM sells is an individual project known as an island, which consists of solar panels, inverters and energy storage facilities to create an off-grid energy system solution to satisfy local energy demand. Islands are used mainly in remote rural areas where it is not profitable for CFE to construct a grid connection for a small community. Island projects help CFE to increase its efficiency and to offer a better service to more people. ERDM is also looking to develop projects that help households lower their electricity consumption by enabling them to generate their own energy. This initiative is targeting high-energy consumers that are paying the DAC tariff. Another initiative is to develop a photovoltaic project for Mexican roads. This project would need government cooperation but will not only bring benefits for the authorities but for the users of these roads that are currently neglected, dark, and unsafe. For Caballero Robles, the future of the solar industry seems bright. He believes that the Energy Reform and the general interest in renewable energy resources are creating a positive growth outlook for the Mexican solar market, and a platform for the international expansion of ERDM. “We are interested in expanding into international markets. We are already exporting to the US and we are ready for direct competition with our Asian competitors,” concludes Caballero Robles.