As with most oil-producing countries, Ecuador has been greatly impacted by the global supply glut, demand destruction and price crash. But adding insult to injury the country has also had to manage a major landslide that crippled much of its oil pipeline infrastructure. Energy Minister Rene Ortiz has nonetheless issued a call to action for a historic moment to reduce fuel subsidies in the Andean nation. We connected with Quito-based lawyer, Julian Pastor a partner at the firm of Sempertegui Abogados to discuss how Ecuador is navigating the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the challenges for the nation’s energy sector.
Mexico marks March 18 with rumors swirling about private sector energy projects, but there are three other steps for greater possible impact.
March 18 is a seminal date in Mexico. Indeed, this year marks the 82nd anniversary of the famed announcement by President Lazaro Cardenas to expropriate private firms and nationalize the Mexican oil industry. In 2020, the date has become a marker for what many hope is a major speech from President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador with regards to the nation’s energy sector. While the project list and announcement is important, there are three areas and simpler steps that may be more important to improve the sector’s outlook this year.
After a quarter of a century since Brazil started its power sector reform, there are a number of lessons learned and best practices to inform the policy debate across Latin America. Given large amounts of hydro resources, and the imperfections in the mechanism for system expansion and the scheme adopted to induce efficient contracting Brazil engaged in a second wave of reforms in 2004. This process resulted in the incorporation of the obligation for every load in the system to have a contract to back that power, with the contracts obligated as the result of auctions. The criterion for contracting at auction is the smallest tariff with standardized contracts. Terms range from 5 to 30 years. Brazil has expanded its installed capacity almost two-fold from 91 GW in 2005 to 158 GW in 2017.
Alberto Fernandez assumed the presidency of Argentina on December 10. According to reports, the administration’s energy policy is set to be submitted to Congress for debate with the goal of concluding it before the end of the extraordinary session in February. There have been a series of meetings and statements since President Fernandez took office that point to a renewed role for Argentina’s provinces in helping to set the agenda and shape the policy debate.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador assumed the presidency a year ago. Energy has been a key part of his government and rhetoric promising “profound and radical” change. While he has not reversed the overarching laws supporting Mexico’s energy market liberalization, which he strongly opposed, he has sought to chip away at it. With much focus on oil and Pemex, it bears noting that his government’s recent efforts also cast doubts on the expansion of renewable energy in Mexico and, in turn, the international effort to fight climate change. On the sidelines of our program in Washington, DC we sat down to catch up with Julio Valle, Joint Director of the Wind Energy Association (AMDEE) and Solar Energy Association (ASOLMEX) in Mexico to share the latest clean energy market developments, policy changes surrounding CELs and the unfolding legal challenges.