Mexico's energy reforms not environmentally sustainable - Club of Rome

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Monday, October 20, 2014

The Club of Rome global think-tank has criticized Mexico's energy reforms as not environmentally sustainable in the long term and lacking more ambitious goals in terms of the use of renewable sources.

During a conference on renewable energy organized by the Switzerland-based organization in Mexico City, Club of Rome co-president Anders Wijkman said the goal of 25% of electricity generated by renewable sources by 2027 does not make the reform environmentally sustainable, according to local media.

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"I would like to see a more long-term focus and a more ambitious goal," Wijkman was quoted as saying.

Solar energy appears to be the most competitive renewable energy source in terms of costs but in Mexico it will only represent 0.02% of electricity generation in 2027, despite it being a country of abundant sunshine, he reportedly said. If the Chinese can extend their solar generation by 50%, Mexico can do more than that by 2027, according to Wijkman.

Mexico's investment and trade promotion agency ProMéxico announced in September that the country will see 80 renewable energy projects with US$8.5bn in investments over the next two years, 80% of which would be in wind power, 15% in solar power and the remaining 5% in biomass or hydroelectric.

Wijkman was also quoted as saying by the Imagen del Golfo news source that the majority of Mexico's oil revenue will be used for the federal budget and very little of it for science and technology and the development of clean energy.

For his part, Mexico's energy minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said the reform contains commitments to protecting the environment, as it includes plans for the construction of more than 10,000km of natural gas pipelines to convert oil-fired power stations to combined cycle, thus reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Mexico's energy ministry (Sener) announced in May it would build 22 natural gas pipelines over the next 15 years.