Mexico’s electricity market: a year in numbers

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The Electricity Regulatory Commission (CRE) of Mexico awarded 463 permits for electricity generation in 2015. This represents a three-fold increase from the previous year. While not all of these permits are for greenfield projects and many are accounted for by the CFE, they are evidence that the energy reforms of 2013 are encouraging a renewal of the electricity infrastructure in Mexico.  (more…)

What next for Bolivia?

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On Sunday, February 21, Bolivians went to the polls to decide in a nationwide referendum whether they would authorize a constitutional amendment to allow the president a second consecutive re-election or cap Evo Morales' tenure as president at the end of his current term in 2019. As of close of business on Monday the results are too close to call. It could take a couple of days to count each and every ballot. But regardless of the result, Bolivia is entering a new era of lower energy prices and tougher political choices. Evo Morales was first elected president in 2006. Since ...

Social Impact Assessments: high standards for energy projects in Mexico

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Under the new rules of the energy reform, anyone seeking to develop an energy project in Mexico must submit a Social Impact Assessment (Evaluación de Impacto Social, EIS) for approval to the national energy agency, SENER.  The guidelines for the assessments are contained in the Hydrocarbon Law and the Electric Industry Law, passed by the Mexican Congress in August 2014, the corresponding Regulations, passed in October 2014, and Administrative Instructions published in April 2015. The content of these assessments varies somewhat for hydrocarbon and electricity projects. The laws mentioned above specify that SENER will conduct an initial study of social conditions and ...

A boost for renewables in Mexico

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The three members of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed a deal last Friday, February 12, to cooperate on clean energy and address climate change. The goal of the memorandum of understanding is to integrate the energy systems of Canada, U.S., and Mexico and promote a clean energy agenda. Like many environmental agreements among nations, it will only prove effective if it supplements favorable domestic conditions. Here's some information on electricity trade and renewable energy (RE) within NAFTA,  and the prospects for more integration leading to cleaner energy. According to the Energy Information Agency, in the ten years between ...

Transparency for Vaca Muerta

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A date has finally been set for YPF to make public the details of a deal it signed with Chevron to explore and develop the Vaca Muerta shale formation. A lower court judge, who had initially ruled in favor of YPF keeping the contract confidential on the grounds that it contained trade secrets, gave the state-owned oil company until February 22 to comply with a ruling by the Supreme Court of Argentina last November to turn over the information. Since it was signed in 2013, the deal between Chevron and YPF has been the subject of speculation and suspicion of secret clauses ...

Will the price of oil be destiny for Maduro?

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The race to the bottom in the oil market has political implications not only for its leading actor, Saudi Arabia, who by flooding the market is seeking to inflict damage on political enemies and secure the survival of its own regime, but also for supporting cast members, such as Venezuela. Venezuela is clearly not living its best moment. The IMF has predicted an economic contraction of 8% and a doubling of inflation to 720% in 2016. Essentials items such as food and medicine are increasingly scarce and the government has started dipping into its gold reserves to pay off debt. So should Venezuela ...