Although the initiative constitutional reform in electrical matters cancels the clean energy certificates (CEL), experts on the subject assured that they can be maintained as an incentive for the increase of renewable capacity as long as the Federal electricity commission (CFE) its clean generation, which would make it necessary to increase the requirements of these instruments for all participants in the electricity sector.
During the discussion of Congress Channel on the third day of discussions of the Open Parliament in the Chamber of Deputies towards the electrical reform, Nelson Delgado, CEO of the Mexican Solar Energy Association, explained that the CEL market designed in the 2013 reform through the Electricity Industry (LIE) and Energy Transition (LTE) laws established that all sector participants have gone from an obligation to have 5% of their energy consumed or generated in 2018 to 13.9% of its energy from 2022.
If they do not have this energy, those who do generate it can sell it as clean energy certificates, with these goals aligned with Mexico’s commitment in the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to reach 35% clean energy on national average in 2024, and 50% by 2050.
“This was designed to encourage the placement of new clean energy plants and it has been fulfilled. Obviously it did not include plants already built, such as those of CFE, which are also more than 30 years old on average, so they generate many environmental externalities and require maintenance,” he said.
However, he acknowledged that the generation in Laguna Verde nuclear power plant or the hydroelectric could receive clean energy certificates and this would not require a reform of the Constitution but at the level of Agreements such as those established linked to the aforementioned laws. But if the above is carried out, the obligations of clean energy participation would have to be increased, because otherwise the committed goals would not be achieved.
Miguel López, deputy director of Contracting and Services of the CFE, explained that the initiative of electrical reform It does not consist of delaying generation through clean energy, but of eliminating the transfer of resources from the CFE to private companies and even laying the foundations for the energy transition in the Constitution.
Therefore, in addition to canceling the exception regimes for legacy contracts from the previous regime (self-supply and independent energy producers), the CELs will also be eliminated as designed, in search of a mechanism that does not take away resources from the CFE.
“The CELs served to anchor private investments, they did not have as an objective to increase renewables but to bring foreign investment in reality,” he explained.
And it is that as has already been mentioned, in addition to paying them the local marginal price, without charging them transmission or distribution, a contract is signed for 15 years of their energy at a fixed price in which, since their costs do not have fuel, they will always be the cheapest energy and first to be dispatched and will also have additional resources each month that the CFE has to pay them for being clean generators, with which the state company ends up paying triple the energy.
In turn, Diego Rasilla González, a specialist in electricity and natural gas, said in his argument against the reform initiative that the transition goal was reached until last year thanks only to private companies that generate 90% of renewable energy. of the country since by 2020 there will be 133 solar and wind plants, but it will take an additional 14,000 clean megawatts per year (a volume that represents twice the wind capacity installed in the country in 10 years) to reach the clean energy goals , which is why private participation in the sector is still required.
Finally, Jorge Toro, from the Council of the National Technological Education System, explained that in proportion, Mexico’s participation in global emissions is 1.2 of carbon dioxide emissions, and “let’s do what we do if the countries that are really broadcasting they do not make decisions to reduce their damage, no matter what Mexico does and that does not mean that we do nothing, but really our contribution is minimal and the pressure is great, disproportionate.
And the fact is that, although the route to combat climate change in the electricity sector continues, it is about having a framework that allows the increase of clean energy without damaging the finances of the CFE, because then there would not even be a company left to subsidize private companies as it has done.