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CFE not happy with the growth of solar panels in Yucatán

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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.
Small businesses all over Yucatán have invested heavily in solar panels, but the CFE does not seem to be happy about it. Photo: Courtesy.

The CFE stands in the way of businesses wanting to connect solar panel systems to the power grid in Yucatán.

At least 900 projects involving solar panels in Yucatán have been halted indefinitely because the CFE has withheld essential bi-directional electricity meters, according to Yucatán’s small business council. 

These meters, which by law only the CFE can provide and install, are necessary to measure the amount of energy generated by solar panels, which is then fed into the electrical grid. 

The amount of electricity generated is then subtracted from the amount consumed, resulting in a smaller utility bill.

The President of Yucatán’s small business council, Jorge Cardeña Licona, described measures taken by the CFE to halt solar panel development in Yucatán to be arbitrary and abhorrent.  

“By not handing over the meters they are tying our hands, there is nothing we can do. Business owners are simply forced to pay whatever the CFE demands” said Cardeña Licona. 

Earlier: People in Merida’s north hit with nighttime power failures

Complaints against the CFE for inaccurate and excessive billing are extremely common in Yucatán. During the COVID-19 pandemic, several closed businesses have continued to pay extremely high power bills even though they have not been operational. The CFE has described these mistakes as “rounding errors.”

Over the past few years, the use of solar panels in Yucatán has exploded. The adoption of this technology has coincided with ever-increasing electricity costs. 

Although the CFE has not made any formal statement on the matter, it is believed that their reluctance to embrace renewable energies comes down to economics. 

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has time and time again backed the CFE and has gone as far as suggesting that green energies such as solar and wind power are unpatriotic and neo-liberal.

“Now it turns out the companies which produce cheap clean energy are corrupt and unpatriotic because they do not want to buy energy from state companies, give me a break,” says industry analyst Victor Sánchez Baños.

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