Wind energy in Mexico: Acciona, Iberdrola call for green tariff

Mexican state power company CFE’s consumers should be able to opt for a "green tariff" as a means to justify expansion of renewable generation capacity, executives from two of Mexico’s largest wind power generators said at a conference in Mexico City.

"A green tariff would give certainty to CFE and [energy ministry] Sener about how many Mexicans are willing to pay more, or pay for green energy," Miguel Ángel Alonso, the general director of the country’s largest wind turbines generator, Acciona Energía México, said.

Alonso said consumers could opt to purchase as much or as little clean energy from CFE as they see fit, and that 45% of the industrial sector’s needs could be satisfied with wind power.

CFE controls the entire power grid (SEN) and is legally obligated to provide the cheapest possible power to consumers. As such, almost all renewable capacity to date has been developed using the self-supply framework, in which a producer and offtaker form a JV and sign a power purchase agreement. Many large, creditworthy offtakers already have self-supply agreements, so the country may need to find another mechanism for renewable growth.

"If there were an option, a green tariff, it would be appropriate for many people. All the companies that in some sense are acquiring clean energy due to a corporate commitment would have a much simpler mechanism than the one they have today," Eduardo Andrade, corporate director of Latin America for Spanish firm Iberdrola, said.

"[A green tariff] could be the best way for companies that desire green energy to have it without going through so much. And also we could buy some for our homes," he added.

The plants owned by Acciona Energía México, the subsidiary of Spanish firm Acciona, account for roughly two-thirds of the country’s installed wind farm capacity, which exceeds 1GW.

Iberdrola is the country’s largest independent power producer with more than 5GW installed capacity, almost all of which is thermoelectric. The company also has three wind farms in Oaxaca state with combined 208MW capacity.

Mexico requires 276bn pesos (US$20.1bn) in power generation investments through 2026 to expand physical generation to 480TWh, up 65.5% from 290TWh in 2012. Of the total investment, 78% will relate to renewable energy generation, energy minister Jordy Herrera said this week.