José María Leal Gutiérrez
Tamaulipas Energy Agency
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The New Epicenter fo Renewables

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 16:43

Q: What aspirations does Tamaulipas hold in terms of renewables, and how will it incentivize economic growth in the state?

A: Tamaulipas is betting heavily on clean energies since it boasts all the necessary conditions to develop them successfully. For instance it has strong wind and solar resources throughout the year, which is attractive for developers. Given that Tamaulipas is betting on renewables, it is important that the electricity industry is also fostered in order to capitalize on all opportunities. There are many benefits that have risen thanks to the geographical diversification of wind power in Tamaulipas. This year CRE authorized the development of 26 new wind farms in Tamaulipas alone and this will be added to the existing infrastructure in the border of the state, particularly Reynosa.

The Tamaulipas Energy Agency was created to attract investments and expedite the development of projects. The agency is able to establish points of contact with key stakeholders and look for investment alternatives that benefit the citizens of Tamaulipas and uphold technical and legal aptitudes. The wind sector has found a second home in Tamaulipas after Oaxaca, yet we must also look to develop other sectors such as solar. There are high irradiation levels across Tamaulipas and it is a sector that boasts a lot of potential. We have worked with Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, the Minister of Energy in identifying ways of developing this renewable source. We are working with the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas in developing projects across all its campuses and the state authorities are preparing the development of a promising project in the Parque Bicentenario in Ciudad Victoria.

Q: What role does the Tamaulipas Energy Agency play in fostering public private collaborations?

A: In October 2014, we assembled educational institutions, public agencies, private players, chambers of commerce and civil organizations to create the State Energy Commission, of which the Tamaulipas Energy Agency is a branch. The collaboration of different players has created an innovative model that is greatly valued not only by Tamaulipas but by Texas and other entities as well. There is a tightly knit collaboration between public entities and the communities in order to develop projects that have arisen from the Energy Reform and that benefit all parties. One of the schemes we have developed is the Energy Agenda, which allows the government to manage all factors that play a role in the attraction of investment. The state and municipal authorities are more willing to establish points of contact with private players that wish to invest in Tamaulipas.

Q: What steps are you taking to increase the participation of SMEs in the value chain of the energy industry in the state?

A: There are several steps that must be taken in order to ensure the participation of small players in the industry. Firstly, we help companies by offering training courses and by creating networks with major players and important energy projects. We are also working on a supply catalogue that lists all the local suppliers, which will provide them with visibility and an opportunity to develop business opportunities within the sector in the region. The projects that are currently being developed can serve as a platform for developers and suppliers. For instance, the three wind farms that are being developed near Ciudad Victoria can lead to further developments in other areas like Matamoros or Aldama.

Q: What are the characteristics that make Tamaulipas an ideal investment destination and a manufacturing hub for the electricity sector?

A: Tamaulipas boasts ideal conditions for the development of solar and wind; however, another area that is often overlooked is that Tamaulipas has certainty in land acquisition. It is important to note that the world is slowly progressing to decarbonized markets and Mexico is following the same footsteps. It will take time, but Tamaulipas will be a cornerstone for the development of renewables in the country. The Energy Agenda is clear in terms of objectives and one of the most important is the development of human capital. We have increased the number of scholarships that are associated to the energy sector and we have gone a step further by signing academic agreements with prestigious universities like the University of Texas in Austin, San Antonio, and Laredo. There are many challenges that lie ahead that Tamaulipas must conquer, but these do not differ from other states in the country. If we implement the Energy Agenda then we can certainly face any obstacle that might lie in our way.