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Judge halts energy program due to impact on renewables

Order remains in effect until decision is made on Greenpeace, CEMDA injunction

A judge has ruled that the federal government must suspend its 2020-24 energy program because of its negative impact on the renewable energy sector.

The Mexico City-based federal administrative court judge issued a suspension order against the program while an injunction request filed by Greenpeace is considered. A final decision on the injunction request is not expected for months.

Greenpeace and the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA) have launched legal action against federal measures designed to limit the participation of renewable energy companies in the domestic market. They have previously been granted injunctions against some of the measures in the energy program but not against the program as a whole.

In his ruling, the judge said the government must suspend all aspects of the program because it is not conducive to the creation of jobs in the renewable sector and the reduction of emissions.

“The Energy Ministry … must abstain from continuing to comply with the objectives and strategies … of the program,” the judge said.

He stressed that his ruling doesn’t nullify the energy program but rather halts it for the time being.

To avoid a “regulatory vacuum” while the Greenpeace injunction request is considered, the government must apply energy rules that were in place before the new program took effect, the judge’s ruling says.

Earlier this year, the federal government suspended national grid trials for renewable energy projects under the pretext that the reliability of supply had to be guaranteed during the coronavirus crisis and published a new energy policy that imposes restrictive measures on the renewable energy sector that could effectively prevent its expansion in Mexico.

A key aim of the new policy is to consolidate control of the energy sector in the hands of the state-owned Federal Electricity Commission.

The Ministry of Energy has previously indicated that it would challenge court rulings against the government’s policies in the sector.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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