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Mexico touts renewable energy, while blocking solar and wind projects

Mexican government says it is leading a transition to more renewable energy, even though President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has proposed restricting private wind and solar projects

MEXICO CITY – The Mexican government said on Tuesday it was leading a transition to more renewable energy, even as President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is pushing to restrict private wind and solar projects.

The statement touted “close cooperation with the United States to accelerate the deployment of renewable energies in Mexico, including wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectricity.”

López Obrador introduced a bill to guarantee preferences for the dirtiest public power plants that burn coal and oil.

Hydroelectric power is one of the few renewable sources in which López Obrador’s administration has promised to invest. But as Mexican dams are used for multiple purposes – storing water for human use, fighting floods, and generating electricity – conflicting demands and increasingly uncertain rains make it unclear how many additional hydroelectricity can be produced.

López Obrador, from the oil state of Tabasco, located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, has done his best to promote fossil fuels; its administration is focused on building or acquiring new oil refinery capacity.

Experts say López Obrador’s policies could endanger Mexico’s fulfillment of existing carbon reduction commitments. The president argues that increasing hydropower capacity will allow Mexico to meet these goals.

The statement came ahead of a United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, later this month.

López Obrador introduced a bill earlier this month that would cancel contracts under which 34 private power plants sell electricity to the national grid. The plan declares 239 other private power plants that sell energy directly to corporate clients in Mexico “illegal.” Almost all of these plants are renewable or fueled by natural gas.

It would also void many long-term energy supply contracts and preferential clean energy purchase programs, often affecting foreign companies.

It places private natural gas plants almost last – ahead of the government’s only coal-fired plants – for rights to sell electricity to the grid, despite the fact that they produce around 24% electricity. cheaper. Government-run factories that burn dirty fuel oil would be given preference over private wind and solar power plants.

It guarantees the electricity utility a market share of “at least” 54%.


ABC News

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