The best six-year term in electricity generation dies for being the worst

Few presidents have been so clear about how costly it is to distract themselves chasing the shadows of the past as López Obrador. “The most delicate, the most serious,” he explained in his inauguration speech, is that “we would put the country in a dynamic of fracture, conflict and confrontation and this would lead us to consume the time, energy and resources we need to undertake the true and radical regeneration of the public life of Mexico, the construction of a new homeland, the economic reactivation and the pacification of the country. “

Time has given it a reason. Obsessed with criticizing the past, the CFE leadership team that assumes itself more radically transformative may even leave behind a changed Constitution. But does anyone have any doubt that it has plunged the country into a dynamic of fracture, conflict and confrontation? What would happen if, instead of initiatives and decrees, speeches and litigation, its management is measured in Megawatts (MW) of new installed capacity – both its own and those of others?

According to the work reports of the Sener, in this six-year period some 2,500 MW of installed capacity of the CFE, as OPFs, have come into operation. You have to admit that you want to improve the pace. Just a year ago, Sener estimated in its Prodesen that between 2021 and 2024 some 4,500 MW of CFE’s “strategic” installed capacity would be added. The figure broadly coincides with the eight projects that CFE’s 2021-2025 Business Plan said would come into operation between now and 2024. If everything goes according to plan, they would reach a total of about 7,000 MW again. Own installed capacity for CFE throughout the six-year term.

All of this is far less than the nearly 11,000 private MW that have come into operation in just three years. In the six-year term, according to the government’s accounting method, there are 2,651 MW of additions of own installed capacity in independent energy producers. To this must be added at least 5,254 MW of installed wind and solar capacity from long-term auctions, which according to Sener have entered into operation and tests during the first half of the six-year term. And it is estimated that there are some 3,000 more MW, fossil and renewable, that were developed outside of auctions, but under the law of the electricity industry.

That more than half of these new private MW of the six-year term are renewable is great news. In contrast, 99% of CFE’s new MW in the six-year term would be fossil -94% if the 196 MW of hydro repowering mentioned in Prodesen are considered. To this, CFE has recently added 1,000 MW in the development of Puerto Peñasco and a few dozen more MW to the repowering of the hydros. But even so the CFE could not say that not a fifth of its new capacity would be clean. At the end of the six-year term, it would also have contributed less than a fifth of the new clean capacity of the entire electrical system.

If only CFE’s direct capacity additions are counted, this Administration would be one of the dirtiest and most mediocre in recent decades. But it is only in the current context of fracture, conflict and confrontation – as the president warned, of distraction – that what is most important is this kind of partial comparison. In reality, the more than 19,000 total new MW planned for this six-year term represent a historical record for our country. Its clean ratio, although it gets very dirty when counted to the CFE, could also constitute a record. Who would want to divert time, energy, and resources from propping up this constructive trend, dwarfing the country’s bottom line and exacerbating destructive polarization?


Pablo Zarate


Beyond Cantarell

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