Paolo Salerno
Managing Partner
Salerno y Asociados Expertos en Energía
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View from the Top

Small and Medium Energy Enterprises Boost Economic Development

By MBN Staff | Mon, 05/11/2020 - 10:25

Q: What is the firm’s added value for the Mexican Market?

A: Salerno y Asociados Expertos en Energía has four areas of expertise: legal, business, infrastructure and training. Our added value is that we are vertically integrated and we specialize in the electricity segment. We have a great deal of knowledge and experience in this specific area.  We provide legal and financial advice, and offer an engineering department. We bring together the legal, economic and technical factors of the process. Obviously, we do not do everything ourselves. We have specialized partners that complement us in different areas. We understand the entire project process. The moment a standard is implemented, we understand its nature and can follow through.

Likewise, we stand by the interests of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In the electricity sector, large multinationals have been only slightly affected when compared to the effects some policies have had on SMEs, which are caused by changes in regulation and price fluctuations.

There are several situations in which SMEs are completely unprepared. Electricity is the second-most expensive service for an SME, after the cost of raw materials. This is where we come in. We have all the necessary tools to help the SME sector, which frequently needs advice to fully understand the energy projects that are being offered. In addition, we are members of various associations, such as the Queretaro energy cluster and the National Association of Business Lawyers (ANADE). In just three years, we have become one of the Top 100 law firms in Mexico. I have also been recognized as one of the Top 100 leaders in energy in the country.

Q: What are the main concerns for your clients?

A: The main concern that my clients have is the cost of energy; the price of electricity is very high. Electricity plays a factor in production costs, and when its cost rises, this can result in losses related to investment and expected profits. We mainly have two solutions for this cost increase. First, we have investment funds that include generation plants. Second, we emphasize local power generation, which has several schemes. We provide the client with an analysis and the client decides what type of technology the company prefers using. We are aware of the fact that local power generation can be a very broad concept. We adapt the solution according to client’s specific needs.

Q: What are the main topics that will define the modification of the legal framework during the coming months?

A: The No. 1 topic is going to be distributed generation, followed by legacy issues. The perception of companies regarding legacies is very different from that of the government. How to migrate the package of legacies to the new market is going to be an important issue at the regulatory level. The third topic should be the transmission and distribution networks. This could deal with the network code as long as CRE starts control visits. On the other hand, the opening of auctions and qualified energy distribution for the moment will not be addressed. Another issue that could be addressed is the slowdown in all procedures since the arrival of the current administration.

Q: What is the firm’s short-term strategy?

A: For this year, we have a high expectation in terms of growth and our goal is to double it. Our strategy is to continue doing what we have been doing and keep current with regulations. We base all our work on knowledge and precision. The Mexican market is not an unknown market, it is a market that resembles elements from other markets. Simply, we must continue supporting SMEs. If SMEs go under, the country will too.

Salerno y Asociados Expertos en Energía is a boutique law firm that advises and accompanies its clients in the development of energy projects from inception to implementation.

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