In Mexico, oil nationalism undermining renewables


Solar and wind projects in Mexico are facing a less favorable policy environment under the López Obrador administration. (Photo by Bente Stachowske, Greenpeace)

As a presidential candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador persistently criticized what are arguably Mexico’s two most consequential energy-policy steps in recent decades—constitutional reforms in 2013 that ended the state oil monopoly and legislation to stimulate green-energy production. So it came as no surprise that left-leaning López Obrador put promotion of state-controlled fossil-fuel production at the center of his nationalistic agenda soon after becoming president on Dec. 1, 2018. His administration suspended auctions of oil-exploration blocks to private companies; launched plans to boost capacity at state-owned refineries; canceled auctions for new renewable-energy supply contracts; and undermined the market for clean-energy certificates that were designed to promote renewable power. And now, as Mexico grapples with Covid-19, López Obrador has redoubled his efforts, rolling out pro-hydrocarbon policies and regulations that make it harder for renewable energy producers to access the electricity... [Log in to read more]

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