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News Article

New Renewables Projects Cancelled, Legal Action in the Works

By Cas Biekmann | Thu, 05/07/2020 - 19:25

CENACE has indefinitely suspended tests for new renewable energy projects in the country citing COVID-19 effects. The Business Coordinating Council (CCE), a non-profit defending the rights of private businesses, announced legal action against this decision. In other news, fossil fuel giants are betting on renewables, Mexico needs options for energy storage and Heineken signed a 100 percent renewables partnership with Enel.

 

Read about it here, in your weekly energy roundup!

 

CENACE Suspends New Renewable Projects: Private Sector to Take Legal Action

Citing COVID-19 effects, CENACE has indefinitely suspended tests for new renewable energy projects in the country, reported Bloomberg. These preoperative tests are critical for new projects in Mexico.  Private players say that the suspension of tests has been identified as a tool to boost CFE participation over private initiatives, adding to a longer-standing argument between the public sector and private renewable energy producers.

The Business Coordinating Council (CCE), a non-profit defending the rights of private businesses, announced legal action on May 5, reported Renewables Now. CENACE stated that the suspension was merely aimed to improve stability in Mexico’s electrical grid, now that lower demands were causing issues on power lines accustomed to efficient, high traffic. CCE accuses CENACE’s measure of not having sound technical and legal basis. The Council is worried that CENACE could drive out private investment worth over US$20 billion by building unfair barriers and favoring older, more polluting forms of energy generation in the process.

Fossil Fuel Giants Look to Join the Renewables Market

Keeping a diversified portfolio is an advice that most investors and companies follow. In the case of fossil fuel giants, it would make sense to take renewable energy into account, especially when the price of oil is at an all-time low. it differentiates from oil and gas but overlaps with their core business. But the extent to which some fossil fuel giants are now embracing renewable energy stands out.

Royal Dutch Shell is the latest and largest global energy company to commit to net-zero emissions by 2050. Shell joins companies such as BP, Repsol and Equinor, that are now planning to diversify their energy sources by investing heavily in renewables and ‘offset’ remaining pollution by helping to fund a cut in emissions elsewhere. This can be done by preventing deforestation, for instance. Reuters, however, quoted climate groups arguing that offsetting should be used as a last resort and that absolute emission cuts should be the priority. Still, for a fossil fuel company, a complete cut is not possible, which is why the solution is popular for other companies such as airlines.

Mexico Needs Renewable Energy Storage to Make Optimal Use of Natural Resources

Renewable energies, such as wind and solar, are among the options if the world wants to collectively lower its CO2 emissions. Not only do renewables offer an outlook toward a sustainable future but in countries like Mexico they have also proven to be quite competitive in terms of pricing. One technical problem remains to be solved. Sun and wind are simply not available 24/7, which means long-term storage is needed to bridge the gaps. If Mexico wishes to adapt renewables as a significant portion of its energy mix, it will have to make choices on this front as well.

Lithium-ion batteries are currently used the most and might remain on top as NREL predicts costs for batteries will decrease over time. These could become much more efficient as they could double their capacity in the next 10 years. Other good options for Mexico include using pumped hydro, for which existing hydro plants can be used, flow batteries and liquid nitrogen. The potential exists, nevertheless, development will need to be accelerated.

Heineken and Enel Initiate 10-Year 100 Percent Renewables Partnership

Enel Green Power signed a deal with Heineken Mexico, providing the latter with 28.8GWh of solar and wind energy per year, reported Smart Energy International. The deal is part of the larger scheme from Heineken’s international efforts to offset its carbon footprint.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Smart Energy International, Greentech Media, Renewables Now, El Universal
Photo by:   Bill Oxford
Cas Biekmann Cas Biekmann Journalist and Industry Analyst