Articles from Mexico
A longstanding feud over a wind-power project has boiled over into grisly violence, after at least 15 people were bludgeoned to death with stones and cement blocks, and some bodies were partly burned. The government of the Pacific coast community of San Mateo del Mar in Oaxaca state said Monday that 13 men and two women were killed in what he described as an attack by a group of dissident townspeople on Sunday.
As Mexico is poised to plunge into its worst recession in recent-memory the leftist president is making cuts and pulling the plug on subsidy dependent intermittent power from wind and solar that has been driving up the cost of electricity for its financially challenged population.
Communities in Oaxaca say they were hoodwinked into approving wind parks that pollute their land. As another development looms, they're hoping a legal injunction puts power back in their hands.
The move has been brought in by the National Energy Control Center which claims it is necessary to safeguard energy security during the Covid-19 public health crisis. Critics say the authorities are using the pandemic as an excuse to extend a pattern of action against the renewables industry.
“The intermittent generation from wind and PV plants affects the reliability of the national electricity system, [impacting] the sufficiency, quality and continuity of power supply,” reads CENACE’s document, adding that these technologies “do not contribute” to system regulation or grid inertia.
Mexico’s Centro Nacional de Control de Energia (Cenace), which oversees the electrical system, indefinitely suspended critical tests for new clean-energy projects as the nation grapples with the spread of the coronavirus.
Critics of the rule change worry that granting older projects the credits -- certificates known as CELs -- will reduce their value and undermine clean energy investment. While the appeals court decision technically only guarantees the value of the credits for the company that requested the initial injunction, Zuma Energia subsidiary Santa Maria 1, lower courts are likely to follow suit.
MEXICO CITY — Mannti Cummins, a Corpus Christi wind developer, has spent the last 17 years building wind energy projects in the Rio Grande Valley, from Brownsville to Baffin Bay.
In an interview, he revealed that the Spanish company, Iberdrola, lies to the peasants, to whom it assures that there will be no environmental impact in their communities due to the construction and operation of the wind farm, when the Semarnat Environmental Impact Manifestation (MIA) determined that there is irreversible damage to the endemic flora and fauna of these villages of popoloca origin. He even said that the laying of high-voltage towers will cross the town of Puente Colorado in half, exposing its population to electromagnetic fields that alter health and could cause cancer.
However, a project dubbed Eólica del Sur, Sydvind, which has been given the go-ahead involving the Danish firm Vestas, has been drawing fire from indigenous peoples in the Oaxaca region. The Mexican government is being accused of going ahead with the project and riding roughshod over the feelings of the people living in the area – one of the poorest in Mexico.
Mexico's grid operator and regulator Cenace (the National Energy Control Centre) has scrapped plans for the country's 5.9TWh clean energy tender. It had previously suspended the auction in December, a day before bids were due, and two days after new president Andrés Miguel López Obrador was sworn in.
With several large investors already lined up for the tender, the cancellation will raise doubts about the continuation of Mexico’s clean energy programme. The government said that although investors can contest the cancellation, it will not refund what companies spent to prepare for the process.
Mexico’s grid operator and regulator Cenace (the National Energy Control Centre) stated the suspension would allow president Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s new administration to review the tender mechanism’s scope and objectives. ...Results of the tender were initially due to be announced on 2 November, but this was pushed back to 18 December to provide greater visibility, Cenace stated.
A group of activists filed the injunction request on the grounds that the rights of local indigenous communities were violated during the planning and development process for the US $600-million project.
Yesterday, the municipal representative in Pueblo Viejo, Francisco Álvarez, led a group of supporters to the beach where they set fire to some 20 palapa-roofed houses belonging to the fishermen. ...The fishermen claim that Álvarez wants to force them to leave the land so the municipality can grant it to the wind farm project.
Late last month, Sedena sought to initiate legal action against Tradeco to secure 595 million pesos (US $30.9 million) in compensation for failing to comply with the contract it signed and a 374-million-peso (US $19.4-million) payment because no energy was produced at the base between March 2014, when the project was supposed to be completed, and June 2018.
Judges from Mexico’s highest court unanimously decided to grant an amparo, or injunction, to members of the Zapotec community in Juchitán on the grounds that they hadn’t been consulted or given their permission or authorization for the project to go ahead on their land.
Some 500 people from Unión Hidalgo marched Saturday to protest the planned Gunaa Sicarú wind farm that firm Eléctricité de France (EDF) plans to build, according to local media reports. The coastal town and fishing community of Unión Hidalgo is inhabited by people of the indigenous Zapoteco ethnic group, who claim to not have been consulted about the planned project.
Flor, who owns the land where the turbine is sited and rents it to EDF, said she arrived on the scene after being alerted by a neighbor. “The stench was terrible, like a sort of burned fuel or ammonia,” she said, asking not to be identified by her surname out of concern over reprisals. “The trees were glistening with oil.” Similar problems have been reported all along the Tehuantepec isthmus, one of the western hemisphere’s windiest places.
Besides the lack of information, and of free, prior and informed consent, as the law and international conventions require, indigenous people complain about impacts on migratory birds, rise in temperatures in areas with solar panels and water pollution caused by leaks from wind towers. ... the process of energy development has legal loopholes that have to do with superficial contracts and environmental impact studies.