Nuevo Leon to Keep Up with Energy ChallengesBy Antonio Gozain | Wed, 09/01/2021 - 11:20
Nuevo Leon, one of the most economically dynamic states in Mexico, aims to continue growing in the energy sector, where opportunities and challenges emerge in similar amounts. The objective of affordable and clean energy, included in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, is clear, but the transition to clean, efficient energy requires project promotion and continuity.
“(The Energy Reform) attracted foreign investment in the energy sector. Nuevo Leon doubled its energy production and is now the third state in wind energy investment and second in distribution,” said Jorge Gorozpe, Energy Director at the Ministry of Economy and Labor of Nuevo Leon (SEyTNL).
Manufacturing plays a key role in Nuevo Leon’s economy. With US$37.8 million in exports, which represents 9 percent of the national manufacturing exports of 2020, this sector represents 26 percent of the state’s economy. Mass production also means mass energy consumption. Nuevo Leon is the biggest electricity consumer in the country and the challenge is to keep energy production at sustainable levels, considering a smooth transition to clean, efficient energy. This is the purpose of the Energy Direction of SEyTNL, which also promotes the growth of energy infrastructure and strengthening of human capital in the state. “Electricity consumption will keep growing and we will have to continue producing. Our goal is to be the most efficient energy consumers (in the country),” said Gorozpe.
Energy efficiency is one of the state’s priorities. Nuevo Leon became one of the first states to implement energy management systems in two public buildings, resulting in a decrease of over 4.2 million kWh in consumption and savings of MX$1 million (US$50,000) per year, according to Gorozpe. The local government is also working on “awareness campaigns focused on public officials” and collaborates with federal institutions like CONUEE, “hosting in-person and virtual workshops on energy efficiency in the hospitality, real estate and air conditioning industries,” said Gorozpe.
The government of Nuevo Leon has worked closely with municipalities, learning about their specific needs and supporting them, while promoting gender equality in the sector, through virtual and in-person seminars. The Energy Direction of SEyTNL has also implemented polls to have more precise data of each territory of the state and hosted energy projects in collaboration with public and private universities, such as ITESM, UANL, UDEM and UR, working closely with the Embassy of Denmark, one of the leading countries in clean energy matters. “We created the ‘Wind Race’ in collaboration with Cubico, which was a literal race around a wind farm to promote these projects and raise environmental awareness,” said Gorozpe.
Despite the impending government transition in Nuevo Leon, the Energy Direction of SEyTNL has pending projects, such as signing the Energy Policy of Nuevo Leon, the gender equality agenda in the sector and the promotion of renewable energy and new technologies. To ensure continuity, the federal government will play a key role in Nuevo Leon’s energy sector’s growth. “We are the second state with more energy project and we have to work with the federal government to keep growing our transmission and distribution grid,” said Gorozpe.