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Big business in Mexico moves toward ditching dirty CFE power

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Massive privately owned solar power array near Progreso, Yucatán. Photo: Courtesy

Many of Mexico’s biggest companies including Bimbo and Telcel say that they have begun to move away from the CFE in favor of greener alternatives.

Business leaders say that the decision is motivated by a desire to reduce their carbon footprint while saving money. 

In recent years Yucatán has seen a boom in green energy initiatives, especially when it comes to wind and solar power.

According to their own statistics, the CFE reports that electricity generated by private firms in Mexico is up to 26% cheaper than their own. 

“We have decided to transition towards purchasing electricity from private companies employing green technologies like solar and wind power,” said a press statement by telecommunications giant America Movil. 

Walmart Mexico and Central America recently reported that 63% of the energy it consumes now comes from renewable sources. The company now says that it plans to bring that number to 100% by the end of 2035.  

Several other retail giants such as Oxxo say that they have similar goals and plan to invest hundreds of millions of pesos into private energy firms. 

But don’t discount the CFE just yet. They have a powerful ally in President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Earlier: CFE not happy with the growth of solar panels in Yucatán

Since assuming the office of president in 2018, López Obrador has been steadfast in his support of state-owned power companies including the CFE and PEMEX. 

Recent modifications to Mexico’s energy sector rulebook now heavily favor state-owned power companies by making it harder for private firms to sell energy to industry and consumers. 

Opposition members and environmental groups have been nearly unanimous in condemning these reforms and claim that the path that the president is leading Mexico down is equivalent to ecocide. 

“It is incredible that in this day and age the president is being so blatant in his support of the dirty energy produced by the CFE, especially since it’s actually more expensive. Let’s not mince words, at this point we are talking about ecocide,” said opposition Sen. Xóchitl Gálvez Ruiz.

Despite the president’s stifling of the private energy sector in Mexico, most energy industry analysts believe that the trend toward privately generated green energy is here to stay. 

“There is no turning back the clock, we are close to reaching our goal of running on 80% green energy and plan to reach 95% by the end of 2023,” said Bimbo President Daniel Servitje. 

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