EconomyFinancialThe electrical reform and the two contrary versions that...

The electrical reform and the two contrary versions that still do not converge

The two versions are contrary and each points to a different culprit. The private sector insists on a closure of the federal government to open the dialogue. The government side says that there is a prejudice in the market companies about the modifications that have been proposed to change the dynamics of the electricity market.

None of the changes have managed to get under way. All have been detained under protection before specialized judges in competition. The federal government has launched its last letter with the reform to favor the CFE.

Tomorrow, the Morena caucus will propose that the electrical reform bill be discussed on April 11 and 12, so that it can be taken to the plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies on April 13 and sent to the Senate on April 14. But the dialogue between the two parties has not arrived.

The last time that the representatives of the wind generation market had a meeting with the secretary Rocío Nahle was in 2019, just a few months after starting the six-year term, when the electricity market was still operating without changes, although with a couple of projects stopped. The only official meeting that has been held between the head of energy policy and the members of the ecosystem, according to market participants, took place at an event that brings together the renewable energy industry. The event has been repeated again this Tuesday, after two years of being paused due to the pandemic. But since that first and only meeting, much has changed.

The event called Wind Power brings together the participants of the renewable market. The last time it was held in person was in March two years ago, at that time no regulatory change had been presented. Today a constitutional reform is in Congress.

“Many times strategic decisions are entered with prejudice. Prejudice for doing it ourselves due to the change of government. Not only is it that from the government sector we already have rejection, but on the contrary, we have felt it in the same way, but finally the government of the president is the government democratically constituted and elected by a large majority of the country that asked for a change particularly in these issues. ”, says Walter Angel Jiménez, general director of clean energies of the Ministry of Energy (Sener), who has attended instead of the head of the agency that was announced in a preliminary program, but whose attendance was not confirmed.

Thus, the meeting between a representative of the federal government and the president of the Mexican Wind Energy Association (Amdee) took place again this Tuesday, although briefly. The conversation was between the need for a discussion and the opening of a dialogue. The talk of just a few minutes ended with the promise of a future meeting.

But that last conversation has not been enough to change the perception of private initiative.

The private position

Leopoldo Rodríguez, the president of the association that brings together wind generators, says that he has not found a signal that gives him visibility of an opening in the dialogue.

Private market participants insist that a reform is not necessary to modify the rules with which the Moreno government does not agree. The federal administration has maintained the discourse that the reform is necessary because the private sector has not allowed any minor changes, such as modifications to secondary laws or the publication of sectoral programs that mark the vector of electricity policy.

“This is very simple. They have complained about the injunctions and others, (but) the issue is that all the injunctions that have been proposed at the regulatory level and even at the level of law were never discussed,” Rodríguez says in an interview.

The judges specialized in competition have stopped, among others, the changes to the way in which the Clean Energy Certificates are granted, the reliability policy and the modifications to the Electricity Industry Law, which was approved by Congress last year . “There has been no dialogue about what you want to resolve. If there is no dialogue and a proposal arrives that is radical (…) there is no other way than what the law allows”, says the representative of the renewable sector.

But the vision of the government sector is totally contrary.

Sener’s vision

Walter Angel Jiménez, an engineer at UNAM and a former parliamentary adviser, says that the proposed policies contained benefits for the industrial sector, but that prejudice against the federal government prevents each of the initiatives from being critically analyzed. “I feel that this prejudice is what has prevented open collaboration and permanent dialogue, but we are also building it,” he explains in an interview. “We came to propose policies that were rejected and that greatly benefited the industrial sectors in areas where there is poor access to the national transmission network and that basically stopped because we did it.”

The director of Sener says that, for example, the agency sought to implement special zones to trigger distributed generation. But that change was stopped when amparos were filed to suspend the Program for the Development of the National Electric System.

Is the problem renewable energies or the business model?

But the perception of renewable energy generators is completely the opposite. The discussion of the reform has focused on a speech against renewable energies. The plants that work with sun or wind will be dispatched after the plants of the state-owned CFE. Rodríguez, who says that one of his main strengths is always seeking dialogue, explains that the reform is “destructive of value” and that “several of the proposals that have been made literally bankrupt companies.” That same impression is repeated among the rest of the market participants.

A parliament opened in the Chamber of Deputies a few weeks ago and which lasted for a month and a half has been the most significant rapprochement between the parties.

The forum brought the two parties to the discussion face to face for the first time, which hold completely polarized positions. But the big companies decided not to participate, despite an invitation from the legislature and the assistance of the Nahle secretary was short, with a speech on the importance of the state-owned CFE, but which did not delve into the discussion.

The times are not yet defined and the reform initiative seems to have stalled in the legislature. Rodríguez, the president of the Amdee, says he is incredulous in a change from the federal government to open up to the conversation. He assures that the openness of those responsible for energy policy has remained “more or less along the same lines” as in the three years of the six-year term.

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