Mexico’s Renewable Energy Future

As the second-largest economy in Latin America with more than 40 million electricity customers, growing demand for power, and significant potential untapped renewable energy resources, Mexico is well positioned to expand its power generation from renewables. The energy reform has created many incentives to facilitate investment in renewables. However, a number of challenges remain.

Of Paradigm Shifts and Political Conflict: The History of Mexico’s Second Energy Revolution

The story of Mexico’s paradigm shift in energy policy is nothing short of extraordinary. The breadth and depth of the reform, the dramatic break with the past, and the positive long-term impact on Mexico’s economy are of course remarkable, but the story of the political process is also worthy of recognition.

Mexico's New Energy Model: The Evolving Global Energy System

No industry is as essential to the human condition as energy. It fuels our cars, lights our homes, and powers our businesses. The enterprise of creating and maintaining a durable energy system—the collective means by which society generates and distributes vital energy resources—has been around for generations. But longevity is not the same as constancy, and energy analysts have taken on the dual task of defining the status quo of the energy system as well as projecting its potential evolution.

A Crude Reform: Pemex in Mexico’s New Energy Landscape

Mexico is coming out of one of the most dramatic reform periods since the creation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Following the presidential election in July 2012, the new Peña Nieto administration shepherded through Congress a series of radical reforms—the most radical removed the national oil company Pemex (Petróleos de México) from its position as the monopoly supplier of all hydrocarbons in Mexico and guardian of the nation’s subsoil resources.

Initial Results from the Mexico Electricity Reform, 2013-18

Mexico is currently the second-largest power market in Latin America and appears poised for continued growth. During the lead-up to the creation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the early 1990s, Mexico began a restructuring process to spur greater international investment in electricity infrastructure. Although more than 6,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity was installed under these programs, the investments relied largely on long-term contracts with the state-owned Federal Electricity Commission (Comisión Federal de Electricidad; CFE).

The Fine Print of the Mexican Energy Reform

Five years ago, when Mexico transformed its energy sector, most commentators were worried about the government’s capacity to implement the reform. What would the upstream contracts look like? Would the auctions be transparent? How would international companies react? After two successful auction rounds, 107 signed contracts, and the creation of viable regulatory agencies to manage and monitor the reform agenda, the questions have changed. Today, Mexico’s capacity to implement energy reforms and attract foreign investment is no longer in doubt.

The Politics of Oil in Mexico: Consolidating the Reforms

Many of the ills afflicting Mexico, Pemex, and the national oil sector stemmed from the lack of technology transfer and insufficient innovation. The reform measures directly and indirectly confronted the need to foster innovation, and contained legal and other elements that would direct and incentivize embracing technology and innovation across the industry—especially at Pemex. Indeed, provisions in the newly created contractual environment pushed Pemex maximize innovation and technology transfers.

Alaska: Leading the Way on Climate Change Policy

How can Alaska, with its oil-dependent economy, address climate change and plan for a transition to a clean-energy economy? It’s a major challenge. In this edition of Wilson Center NOW, Lt. Governor Byron Mallott explains the state’s response to climate change through the work of the Climate Action for Alaska Leadership Team, charged with developing a recommended climate action plan and policy by September 2018.