Mexican renewables score one point against govt over CELs - report
Solar park in Mexico. Author: Presidencia de la República Mexicana. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.
One clean energy company on Thursday succeeded in getting a federal judge in Mexico City to reverse a lower court decision regarding a legal challenge presented in the wake of the Mexican government’s resolution to change the rules for clean energy certificates (CELs).
Bloomberg reported Friday, citing sources familiar with the case, that one unnamed company secured the legal victory that guarantees the value of the CELs, a court ruling that will only apply to that complainant.
The Bloomberg report says that there are at least 18 injunctions filed in Mexican courts to contest the decision by energy ministry SENER to grant the issuance of CELs to old state-owned clean energy producers. Some of the injunctions were filed by the world’s biggest electricity producers, including AES Corp (NYSE:AES), Enel SpA (BIT:ENEL), Electricite de France SA (EPA:EDF), among others, none of which confirmed their legal battles to Bloomberg, according to an earlier report.
CELs, or Certificados de Energia Limpia in Spanish, were originally designed for new renewable energy power plants as part of the 2013/2014 energy reform to help Mexico meet its decarbonisation objectives. In 2018, large power consumers, including state-owned utility CFE, and energy traders were required to buy CELs equal to 5% of the energy they consumed from non-clean sources. This quota was lifted to 5.8% in 2019 and will rise to 7.4% in 2020, 10.9% in 2021 and 13.9% in 2022.
SENER’s decision to level the playing field to include old CFE clean energy plants caused an outrage in the Mexican wind and solar power sector. Last week, Amdee and Asolmex, representing the wind and solar power industries, respectively, said in a joint statement that the government’s measure defeated the purpose of CELs entirely and devalued the renewable energy assets already in operation.
The right to sell the granted CELs spurred the renewables build-out in Mexico since the energy reform. According to the Mexican energy regulatory commission, 8,339,966 CELs were granted in January through August 2019, surpassing last year’s total of 6,899,520.
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