Opinions Divided Following Major Power OutageBy Cas Biekmann | Thu, 12/31/2020 - 13:14
Following a blackout affecting 10.3 million Mexicans for a few hours, opinions between the state and private industry differ regarding its cause. In other news, major investments are needed to meet growing energy demand and stabilize the electricity system. Ready for more? Read the weekly roundup!
10.3 Million Without Electricity After Major Outage
A major electricity outage left 10.3 million users without electricity for up to two hours, Mexico’s state utility CFE reported this week, after identifying an imbalance between load and power generation. Hospitals and drinking water supply areas remained unaffected.
Said imbalance meant Mexico’s power network lost 7,500MW, said CENACE, which activated automated protection schemes to prevent further damage. As a result, people in 12 states in the center, west and northeast of the country, including the capital, were affected. Power was restored at 4:12 p.m. for all users.
Opinions Differ on What Caused this Outage
Monday’s blackout occurred because of a fire caused by winds in a municipality 20km away from Victoria, Tamaulipas, CFE explained yesterday night. However, CFE Director General Manuel Bartlett blames the event on an aggregation of unfortunate circumstances. CENACE and other CFE figureheads point to renewable energy as the cause for the imbalance. Other experts doubt this explanation, pointing at the saturated and aging transmission network the government inherited instead.
Nuevo Leon Bets on Solar Energy for 2021
The General Director of the Nuevo Leon Energy Cluster, Amado Villarreal González, said that next year Nuevo Leon will bet on less-regulated segments, such as distributed generation through solar panels, for commercial and industrial use. “The growth trend of solar roofs confirms photovoltaic power’s potential to establish itself as one of the most successful and competitive forms of energy generation in Mexico," said Héctor Olea, President of the Mexican Association of Solar Energy (ASOLMEX). He explained that renewable energies bring several environmental benefits to the planet, communities and individuals.
ESG Takes on a Bigger Role
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) criteria are defined as the three main factors with which the sustainability of a business and its social impact can be measured. Even though modern businesses often operate with the goal to generate value for shareholders, Bloomberg News analyzes that this trend is changing. Driven by popular demand, companies are realizing sustainability might matter as much as profits. Clean energy producers stand to benefit globally.
More Investment Needed to Meet Growing Energy Demand
The Business Coordinating Council (CCE) points out that Mexico’s electricity system faces congestion of its transmission lines, which leads to costs of more than US$1.8 billion to counter the effects. To satisfy demand and avoid this saturation, an investment of MX$87 billion (US$3.57 billion) is needed to install 4,400MW per year, reports El Financiero.
Enphase Joins Tesla as Second Clean-Tech Firm in S&P 500
The S&P 500, an index measuring stock performance of 500 large companies listed on stock exchanges in the US, welcomed Enphase Energy. The Californian company builds solar power components and was included after its shares soared 562 percent since the end of 2019, reports Bloomberg News.
UK’s Grid Will Close Off Year as Cleanest So Far
The UK kept adding renewable resources to the grid, making use of its wind potential, dropping its carbon intensity by 60 percent from 2013 to 2019. As energy demand continues to grow and the LCOE of renewables keeps dropping, Bloomberg News expects the trend to continue.