Mexican Judge Grants New Injunction Against Policy Limiting Renewable Energy Firms

Energy projects already approved will be able to proceed.

The Mexican Center for Environmental Law (Cemda) and Greenpeace have obtained a new injunction against federal government measures intended to limit the participation of renewable energy companies in the domestic market.

A definitive suspension order granted by an administrative court judge invalidates an agreement published by the National Energy Control Center (Cenace) in late April that suspended national grid trials for renewable energy projects under the pretext that the reliability of supply had to be guaranteed during the coronavirus crisis.

The August 14 court order also abrogates a new energy policy published by the Energy Ministry (Sener) in mid-May that imposed restrictive measures on the renewable sector that effectively prevented its expansion.

Cemda and Greenpeace previously won an injunction against the Cenace and Sener measures in late June but the Energy Ministry has indicated that it will challenge rulings against it.

As a result of last Friday’s ruling, the two environmental groups said in a joint statement that renewable energy projects that have already been approved will be able to continue as long as they comply with existing laws and respect the human rights of the residents of the locations where they are being built.

Cemda research coordinator Anaid Velasco said that both the Cenace agreement and the Sener policy constituted a backward step in Mexico’s progress toward the promotion and greater use of renewable energy.

María Colín, a Greenpeace environmental law expert, said the aim of the legal battle against the anti-renewable measures was to guarantee the human right to affordable and accessible clean energy. She also said that community-based renewable projects can help to combat the energy poverty that afflicts millions of households.

Private energy companies, including those in the renewables sector, generate almost half of Mexico’s electricity at much lower costs than the state-owned Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) but have failed to win over President López Obrador.

He said in May that private companies, including those that generate clean, renewable energy from sources such as wind and solar, have provided “nothing” to the national electricity system.

López Obrador, a staunch nationalist, has pledged to “rescue” the CFE as well as Pemex and appears unperturbed that consolidation of control of the energy market in the state-owned companies will damage private investment.


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