Puebla: A Potential Energy Hub
The government of the state of Puebla recognizes the importance of energy as a lever for development. It therefore developed a model for energy well-being, ensuring the state can bring clean, affordable and sustainable electricity to places where it is needed most.
“Currently, Puebla is the only Mexican state that uses five different types of renewable energies,” said Rodrigo Grimaldo, Director of Institutional Liaisons, the Energy Agency of the State of Puebla (AEEP). Consequently, over half of the generated electricity in the state comes from clean sources. As of December 2021, the state ranks 18th in installed distributed generation installed (DG), placing it in Mexico’s middle field for distributed capacity.
Miguel Barbosa, the previous Governor of the state of Puebla, highlighted that the federal government’s energy policy was making it difficult to help private investment projects materialize. Therefore, the state government announced the creation of AEEP, through which the state government planned to attract private investment to develop renewable energy and natural gas projects.
AEEP is a decentralized public organism specializing in the promotion of energy development. It focuses on sustainability and coordination to drive energy efficiency, project development and private investment in the marketing, storage, transport and distribution of energy sources.
The agency's strategies are based on its well-being model that seeks to combat energy poverty, offer a competitive supply of natural gas to industrial parks, decarbonize the economy, attract investment and promote energy innovation at the local level, explained Grimaldo.
Initially, the agency had identified 1.4 million ha ideal for renewable energy production. Of these, 150,000 ha were to be destined for solar energy projects, 620,000 ha to detonate wind farms, 250,000 ha for biomass projects and 120,000 for geothermal ventures.
The AEEP is implementing projects with a great social impact. For example, its Solar Schools project benefits more than 36,000 students by footing the electricity bill through the installation of more than 1,000 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. It also has an incentive program that supports the development of SMEs by reducing the cost of electricity or fuel bills.
The state agency is also committed to scientific and technological innovation in the energy sector through intersectional initiatives that integrate sectors such as energy and electromobility. AEEP’s electromobility hub seeks to position Puebla as a leading state in electric and sustainable mobility.
AEEP announced a collaboration with the Universidad Tecnológica de Puebla (UTP) to design and manufacture an alkaline electrolyzer to produce green hydrogen. Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN) and the Mexican Hydrogen Association will support this project, too. Furthermore, the agency is investing in the development of talent by working on the first academic studies in electromobility in the country.
In 2022, Puebla reported it would install 43 EV chargers in 17 cities this year, as reported by MBN. The project is being developed with 80% private investment and 20% public investment, according to Grimaldo. “Puebla is at the forefront of development by committing to this comprehensive strategy, under the guidance of a policy that promotes mobility and economy in the state. Puebla aims to reduce polluting emissions, especially in urban centers,” said Olivia Salomón, Puebla’s Minister of Economy.
Moreover, multiple OEMs are investing in Puebla to strengthen their electrification strategies. Volkswagen is investing in its plant in Puebla to boost the development of stamps and molds to support upcoming EV production of the brand and other global projects. This will also open the door to new job and education opportunities and will promote innovation and technology development.
“Puebla seeks to become a national benchmark in innovation and technological development by promoting projects that boost the energy transition,” said Grimaldo.