'Shine Mexico' program aims to create green energy culture

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Monday, July 14, 2014

With the support of the Mexican federal government, an alliance of civil associations, universities and private firms in the country has created the Brilla México (Shine Mexico) initiative, in an attempt to increase citizen and company awareness of the benefits of using renewable energy.

The initiative aims to inform the public about renewable energy, its environmental benefits and the subsequent reduction of costs to the consumer, providing information to encourage their use and create a culture of green energy in Mexico, according to the association's website.

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Brilla México unites various associations, such as Cleantech Challenge Mexico - a group of environmentally friendly firms that works to promote competitiveness and economic development by encouraging the use of green energy - and Mexico's environmental communication and education fund, a non-governmental organization.

The program also includes Tu Ola (Your Wave), an initiative that seeks to incentivize citizens' commitment to renewable energy use by awarding points that can be exchanged for prizes.

Tu Ola aims to encourage citizens' use of renewable energy, beginning with actions as simple as using energy-saving lightbulbs, said the initiative's director Héctor Iriarte in an interview with state newswire Notimex.

He said Brilla México must address the challenge of overcoming the likely initial difficulties, likening this phase to persuading Mexico City dwellers to use the Ecobici bicycle rental network, which saw slow take-up but now boasts around 120,000 users.

As well as raising awareness of green energy use, Brilla México also seeks to encourage citizens to make a commitment to achieving greater energy efficiency and creating a "green energy culture" for future generations, he said.

Brilla México is led by a group of experts in green energy, from academics and consultants to representatives of the federal government and the private sector.

Its members include Carlos Sandoval, of the national council for ecological industries, and Juan Carlos Zepeda Molina, president of the national hydrocarbons commission (CNH).

The association has also forged an alliance with World Innovation Expo, which provides support to start ups and small businesses working with innovative technology in the green energy sector.

Mexico aims to increase its clean energy generation capacity to 28,210MW by 2027 from the current 14,000MW, and to increase the contribution of renewable energy to the country's energy mix to 35% within the next 10 years.

The projected generation capacity for biomass is 177MW, solar 424MW, wind 10,399MW, geothermal 1,065MW and hydro 16,645MW, Jorge Huacuz of the Instituto de Investigaciones Eléctricas said at the BNamericas Energy Summit in May in Mexico City.

A study conducted in seven major Mexican cities suggests that switching to "cool roofs" could save households 18% in energy costs and commercial properties 7%, according to the Global Superior Energy Performance Partnership (GSEP).

Cool roofs are reflective surfaces that reduce heat transfer to a building.

Carried out in conjunction with Mexico's energy efficiency commission (Conuee), the study estimates that cool roofs deployed in Mexico City, Mérida and Monterrey could save 3,000GW/h of energy annually, with carbon emission savings equivalent to taking 480,000 cars off the road.

BNamericas will host its fourth LatAm Power Generation Summit in Santiago, Chile, on August 13-14. Click here to download the agenda.