Mexico is a country with great opportunities in energy matters. To point out an example, it has an enviable radiation and temperature, potential to be a world player in photovoltaic energy generation. The same case for geothermal energy since we have one of the largest geothermal deposits in the world. On the other hand, to the north of the country is one of the areas with the greatest development and exploitation of natural gas.
However, we can count on this energy potential, but it can never be fully exploited if the means to transport it do not exist, that is, the necessary infrastructure to move the electrons or hydrocarbons to the places of consumption.
At the VI National Energy Forum organized by the Mexican Institute of Finance Executives (IMEF) in May 2021, the issue of national energy infrastructure was discussed as one of the central issues. Regarding electricity, the National Electric System was discussed, and regarding hydrocarbons, transportation by vehicle and hydrocarbon and oil pipelines, as well as storage.
As part of the conclusions, it was stated that there is a great need to build more kilometers of electrical networks and gas pipelines to provide the population with quality, clean, cheap and abundant energy. However, although the Federal Electricity Commission is responsible for the public service of transmission and distribution of electricity and taking into account that the two subsidiary production companies called CFE Transmission and CFE Distribution have a monopoly in this and are in surplus, it is surprising that Practically no more transmission lines have been built so far this six-year term.
On the hydrocarbon side, although Mexican law allows individuals to build and operate pipelines, the Energy Regulatory Commission has slowed down the granting of permits for these activities, such as pipeline transportation and mainly storage, which has caused a paralysis in these activities.
The reality is that we have entered a vicious circle where, on the one hand, the private sector is not allowed to participate in strengthening the country’s energy infrastructure, despite the fact that the resources, technical knowledge and desire to contribute to the matter exist, and On the other hand, the government, which has control of these activities, does not invest in it. The end result is that the most affected is the Mexican consumer.
Whether the Mexican government lacks money, time or interest, there is a clear need to allow the private sector to participate in these productive activities of importance to the national economic life. In this sense, the IMEF has made constant calls to the Federal Executive (and will continue to do so, always seeking the best interests of Mexico) so that, in compliance with what is established in the Constitution and in the energy laws, it allows the much-needed investment, always under your planning and coordination.
We hope that once the discussion and vote on the energy constitutional reform promoted in October 2021 is over, and the clouds of doubt and uncertainty dissipate, clear rules of the game will be established that allow the strengthening of the national energy infrastructure to be promoted.
* The author is president of the National Energy Technical Committee of the IMEF.