In the first two and a half years of this six-year term, Mexico added 8,115 MW of installed renewable capacity to its electricity grid. Of these, the CFE contributed less than 1 percent: 77 MW. But for now the total matters more. With the impulse of the auctions and the entry into operations of the wholesale electricity market, the private parties have been able to make investments to complement the CFE, contributing more than 100 times what the State company.

If the total growth rate were maintained, at the end of the six-year term, Mexico would have added 19,500 MW of clean energy. This would not only be a historical record for our country. It would also imply that we would have exceeded an ambitious goal that we recognized three years ago as fundamental to meet our environmental, national and international commitments: adding more than 17,000 clean MW in this six-year term. Perhaps today it is taken for granted, but the magnitude of the effort to have generated the inertia of this first triennium required the sum of efforts of a large number of organizations: from government and regulators to investors and operators.

In this sense, any positive contribution should be welcomed. For the second triennium of this government, the CFE, for example, had already planned to almost quadruple its own contribution of new clean capacity with the expansion, adding some 250 MW to its hydroelectric capacity. And it recently announced its first major photovoltaic solar commitment in Sonora, with a 1,000 MW project that, despite presenting formidable technical and commercial challenges, it intends to put into operation before the end of the six-year term. If it succeeds, its total capacity contributions to clean energy between 2022 and 2024 would have multiplied by 16 compared to 2019-2021. Thus, the CFE – doing its best, under an Administration that presumes not to skimp on investments for its companies – would have developed less than 1,500 clean MW.

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Unfortunately, this new boost to CFE renewables is not just an addition. It is accompanied by the largest offensive by a company (and perhaps a government) to limit private investment in renewables in our country. As a result, the variable of new wind and photovoltaic MW from private companies coming into operation is collapsing. In the first triennium of President López Obrador, as we have already seen, at least it exceeded 8,000 MW. In its second triennium, it would be surprising if it reaches 1,000. The net balance is very negative. The CFE is not even close to being able to cover the shortfall. Here is a gap of more than 5,500 clean MW that Mexico will have lost in the second triennium thanks to the political efforts of the CFE.

Looking back over the entire six-year term, CFE’s insufficient resources and capacities are even more evident. Let us not forget that our country needed to add more than 17,000 clean MW in this six-year term. And, in the face of this historical challenge, at the time that has been called the decisive decade in terms of sustainability, what the CFE has managed to promise (it remains to be seen if it manages to fulfill) is not even 9 percent of the total.

To meet its environmental goals, Mexico requires 11 times CFE.


Beyond Cantarell

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