Mexico’s investment in green tech, renewable energies declines

World Today

With the Paris Agreement deadline of 2024 fast approaching, countries around the world are looking to bring their renewable energy sources up to date.

But in Mexico, the country’s president has other ideas. CGTN’s Alasdair Baverstock explains.

One of the most geographically diverse countries on Earth, with sun-scorched deserts, wind-swept coastlines and raging rivers, Mexico is a prime location for renewable energy investment.

Indeed, in recent years, Mexico has attracted foreign direct investment in renewable energies from across the globe from countries like the U.S., Spain and Germany.

But since the country’s president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office, investments in renewable energies appear to have slowed down.

“We will make the most of our country’s own raw material, our crude oil. It will be refined in Mexico, instead of being sold abroad and then importing gasoline, as has been happening,” said Obrador.

Shortly after taking office in December, AMLO canceled the country’s fourth long-term renewable electricity auctions in support of fossil fuels.

He also announced the construction of a new oil refinery in his home state of Tabasco. A move which has shaken up investment in the country’s promising renewable energy sector.

“Renewable energies are the future; even the big producers of oil are changing into producers of renewable energies, like Dubai for example, and with Mexico being the seventh country that attracted renewable energy investment, that we are ignoring this, it’s making a very difficult scenario for Mexico to keep growing,” said Carlos.

But for some in the renewable energy sector, there’s a different perspective. Rogelio Calderon is a Mexico energy sector analyst and he sees the focus on fossil fuels as a long-term security measure.

“Renewable energy is still in diapers. There’s 140-something new refining projects in the world, so if you talk about the tendency, it’s building refineries,” said Calderon. “It’s not only about the money, it’s also about leverage and freedoms. We have to assume the worst is going to happen in the next years, because the geopolitical situation is terrible. Assuming that everything is going to stay the same, it would not be a good decision to build a new refinery, but assuming that there might be some changes in the next thirty-forty years, I think it’s a very good strategy from this government.”

As AMLO takes Mexico in a new energy direction, analysts say the long-term impact on the renewable energy sector remains uncertain.